In-Situ Instrument Laboratory (ISIL)

In the ISIL facility
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tours the ISIL facility with JPL staff to see the Mars Insight testbed.

The In-Situ Instrument Laboratory (ISIL) is a building that includes many different types of laboratories. The main highbay in ISIL is a Mars-like environment for missions to Mars. The highbay is equipped with overhead lighting to simulate the Martian sunlight and an area known as The Sandbox. This area allows missions to test their robotic instruments on a surface that can mimic the Martian surface.  The highbay was originally designed for the Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover Programs and their testbed rovers. Over the years it has also served as the Surface Testbed for the Mars Science Laboratory, InSight Lander, and Mars 2020 Missions to Mars and their need to test various sequences such as Driving, Instrument Deployments, and Robotic Arm operations.

Personnel / Contacts: 


  • Daniel Moyers
  • Chris Matthes