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NASA Launches InSight Mars Lander

Over the weekend NASA launched the Mars lander InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This lander will be the first space robotic explorer to conduct an in-depth study on Mars’ crust, mantle and core. The Braun Intertec team was fortunate to play a role in the initial phases of this mission’s development which lands on Mars Nov. 26, 2018.

In preparation for this launch, Braun Intertec provided soil and aggregate testing for NASA as they tested the InSight lander’s equipment designed for this mission. NASA wanted to see if they could correlate the shear strength, density and consolidation properties of the soils to the performance of the mole drill which they created specifically for this mission.

To do this, NASA created their own mix of soils from the Mojave Desert they believed resembled the different soils that exist on Mars. Our materials laboratory then provided soil and aggregate tests to help NASA determine soil types and the physical properties of the soil.

The Braun Intertec Materials Lab helps a wide range of clients from NASA to property developers evaluate soil properties and behaviors which, in turn, better equips engineers’ decision-making processes during construction.

To learn more about the NASA InSight mission, visit their website:

Curious about what else our Materials Lab can do? Check them out online: