Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

NASA has Mars InSight

By AusSMC

NASA's InSight lander has touched down on Mars after spending almost 7 months travelling through space. Its mission is to measure the temperature of the red planet and listen out for any earthquakes to help scientists understand more about the interior of the planet.

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Ms Kim Ellis, Director International Earth & Space Technology Pty Ltd

"As our global civilisation moves closer to developing technology which can both transport and provide life support for humans across the vast distances required to get to Mars, missions such as Insight provide us with data and insights critical to understanding challenges.

These missions provide crucial baseline science and cannot occur without extensive global co-operation and co-ordination between nations. Currently, as the number of missions in total is relatively small, however as the volume of missions increase, the number of technical and legal challenges will increase also. You only have to look at the explosion in the number of satellites orbiting Earth, to see that its possible for a space environment to become congested and contested in a relatively short period of time.

There are 5 United Nations treaties on space include the 1957 Outer Space Treaty (http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/spacelaw/treaties.html) and these provide a framework for peaceful operations in space and domestic legislative arrangements cover important financial, insurance and safety requirements and important country specific regulations and...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.