IATE Term of the Week: lander

November 30, 2018 10:30 am

On November 26, 2018, NASA’s InSight lander reached Mars’ surface, on Elysium Planitia, an equatorial plain in the northern hemisphere. It has been travelling for more than 6 months and for over 300 million miles after initially launching from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. It will be the first spacecraft to study the Red Planet’s deep interior, where it will remain, unlike rovers that typically travel around space.

InSight is not doing this journey alone. In fact, 1.6 million people are joining them. Members of the public had the possibility to sign up and have their names inside a microchip which would be launched into space, in an initiative launched by NASA back in May 2018.

Inside the InSight, there are two instruments. The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure that will detect the size, speed and frequency of seismic waves produced by Mars quakes, and the HP3 that will dig into Mars’ soil seeking for clues.

Tom Hoffman says, “If there happened to be a butterfly on Mars and it landed very lightly on the Seismometer, we’d actually be able to detect that.”

This will not only help scientists understand what is happening in the Martian underworld, but of course, it will also bring to the fore a lot of other questions too. Lets see what information InSight reveals in the coming weeks.



– Good, A., 2018. InSight Is Catching Rays on Mars, [online: here], NASA, retrieved on 27/11/2018.

– Brensberger, A., 2018. InSight Lander versus other Mars landers and rovers, [online: here], Every Day Astronaut, retrieved on 27/11/2018.

– Good, A., 2018. More Than 2.4 Million Names Are Going to Mars [online: here], NASA, retrieved on 28/11/2018.

Written by Noelia Soledad Pavin – Terminology Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She holds a Master Degree in Lexicology, Multilingual Terminology and Translation from the University Lumière Lyon II, France.

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