After driving all around Mars with four rovers, Nasa wants to look deep into the guts of the red planet.
The space agency has decided to launch a relatively low-cost robotic lander in 2016 to find out what makes the Martian core so different from Earth.
The Insight project was chosen by Nasa's Discovery programme over missions to a Saturn moon and comet, drawing complaints from scientists that it is too focused on Mars.
Scroll down for video
Opening Mars: Nasa has revealed plans to send a probe to drill 16 feet into the planet's surface in 2016
The Nasa science chief, John Grunsfeld, said while all three proposed missions, which cost no more than $425m (£270m) were good, the Mars project showed the best chance of keeping within budget and on schedule.
The Insight mission includes two instruments, one French and one German, that will examine the geology of Mars in depth, exploring the core's size, composition and temperature.
The InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Lander will look deep into the guts of the red planet in 2016
Mars's interior is a mystery.
It has no magnetic field, and scientists are unsure whether its core is solid or liquid or if it has frequent quakes like Earth.
An artist's impression of the rover of the martian planet, with a cover over the drill that will bore 16 feet into the red planet's surface.
'What kind of Mars quakes are there? How big is the core of Mars? Does it have remnants of a molten core like the Earth does?' asked the Discovery programme chief, Lindley Johnson.
Jay Melosh of Purdue University said geologists have been asking for this type of crucial information for decades and said a project like this was overdue.
The mission will be run by Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab in California, which is basking in the success of the $2.5bn (£1.6bn) Mars Curiosity rover, which is starting to explore the planet's surface after landing this month.
Earlier this year, Nasa pulled out of two Mars missions with the European Space Agency because it lacked the $1.4bn (£0.9bn) funding for the proposed 2016 and 2018 mission.
Nasa is still working on another possible Mars mission to replace the cancelled missions, with a decision due this month.
The mission will study the interior of Mars in a bid to find out how it formed. Here, the red planet's geography is revealed with a topographical map.
But Carolyn Porco, a prominent scientist who studies Saturn and its moons, criticised the decision, saying there was 'too much emphasis on Mars in our current plans for planetary exploration'.
She said: 'Most of the solar system resides beyond the orbits of the asteroids.
'There is more to learn there about general planetary processes than on Mars … Why more Mars?'
Mars beat missions to explore Saturn's moon Titan and its odd methane oceans, and a mission to land on a comet as it nears the sun.
Opponents of further Mars missions say Nasa has not approved missions to the other outer planets or a comet since a Pluto mission was picked in 2001.
The deck of the Curiosity rover from the rover's Navigation camera. Nasa's next Mars rover will be able to drill 16 feet under the Martian surface.
When a nuclear explosion tore the surface off most of Mars. It was at that time the civilizations at Mars retreated to Mars interior just like the civilizations of Telos and others at inner Earth.
Nasa should leave the Martians alone unless invited or pay the consequences
NASA ALSO COVERS THE TRUE IMAGES AND DOES NOT TELL THE TRUTH...so infect they are CHEATERS on and to Planet Earth
ahhhhh NASA you liars! I agree 100%, they are cheaters and they have cheated us out of the truth on many many an occasion. It's going to suck to be them soon enough, when their lies come crashing down around their ears and they have to front up for their actions. Everything from NASA I take with a grain of salt. Their reports on solar flares not being dangerous amuse me, if they're that not worried why did they move the satellites and in-space personnel to out of the firing line? I know solar flares aren't actually dangerous but that they do change things shall we say. NASA lies will only last for so long. Its a bit insulting that they think we're that stupid but so be it, it will only back fire on them.
Lisafer you are spot on ...NASA ARE LIARS AND CHEATERS ....THE BASTARDS
Dont you think if NASA is bought and paid for and they are purposely misinforming people, and if they already have bases on mars, and they already know there are civilizations up there (suppsedly) then why would they send their little robot to plaes where it would actually film something important.
If I was running the show and wanted to fool people I would send the robot to a "rural" location, ensuring it is nowhere near our bases.
If I can think of that, they have too.
You arent really going to get information you would trust anyways. Even if the mission was genuine and they DID find stuff under the surface, people would just say it is false flag lies and nasa misinformation, just like they do now.
Remember: NASA means Never A Straight Answer.
mars is so interesting to explore... there is so much going on there...
N.A.S.A. SPACE PROGRAM is a public front and proof it is a public “disinformation agency”