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UK instrument will test for Marsquakes

NASA has selected a UK-funded seismometer to fly on a Mars mission in 2016.

The instrument is to be built by teams at Imperial College London and the University of Oxford. Part of NASA’s InSight mission, it will test for ‘Marsquakes’ and collect data on the boundaries between the planet’s rock layers.

“Placing a new seismometer on Mars has long been a goal of international scientists, and this is a great example of the pioneering, world-class science and technology supported by the UK Space Agency,” David Williams, chief executive of the UKSA, said in a statement on 21 August. “The technical challenge is significant but the UK team are proving themselves more than equal to it.”