The project aims to expand human knowledge of interior conditions on Mars, inform efforts to send human explorers there, and reveal how rocky planets like the Earth formed billions of years ago.
If all goes as planned, the lander should settle on the Red Planet on November 26.
Its name, InSight, is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. NASA chief scientist Jim Green said experts already know that Mars has quakes, avalanches and meteor strikes.
After the lander settles on the Martian surface, a robotic arm is supposed to emerge and place the seismometer directly on the ground. The probe will bore down 10 to 16 feet below the surface, NASA said, 15 times deeper than any previous Mars mission.