Troy Hudson, Ravi Prakash and Marleen Sundgaard
L-R: Troy Hudson, Ravi Prakash and Marleen Sundgaard as they appear in a new video series profiling the scientists and engineers behind NASA's InSight spacecraft.Credit: NASA 360
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A new series of videos introduces some of the people leading NASA's InSight, the agency's next mission to Mars.

"Behind the Spacecraft" profiles the men and women working on the first mission ever dedicated to studying Mars' deep interior. The InSight spacecraft is on its way to a Nov. 26 landing on the Red Planet. All the videos are available today and will be spotlighted on social media each week over the next three months.

NASA-JPL InSight scientist Troy Lee Hudson designs, builds, tests and flies science instruments to study Mars. Troy loves space so much that he even got the solar system tattooed on his arm.

The InSight profiles include:

  • Troy Hudson, a scientist turned engineer with space art tattoos
  • Marleen Sundgaard, the daughter of migrant workers who was inspired to look to the stars
  • Ravi Prakash, a spacecraft engineer who applied his skills to combat international poverty

After landing on Mars, InSight will use a seismometer to detect quakes inside the planet, and place a probe up to 16 feet (5 meters) under the surface to measure the heat escaping from its depths. InSight stands for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.

InSight is an international mission that includes participation from several European agencies and institutions, including France's National Center for Space Studies (CNES) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Important figures from these collaborators are also profiled in the "Behind the Spacecraft" series.

Two videos also focus on Mars Cube One, or MarCO, the first pair of CubeSats to attempt the journey to Mars. These "Meet MarCO" videos share the personalities of young engineers working to demonstrate how miniaturized spacecraft technology can be used on future missions. MarCO is a unique, standalone mission of its own, unrelated to the InSight mission's success.

The entire video series was produced by NASA 360 at the National Institute of Aerospace in collaboration with the agency's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

To watch all the videos, click here.

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News Media Contact

Andrew Good
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.