NASA InSight: Touch Down on Mars

NASA's Insight Lander touch down on Mars (artist's concept)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

News from Nov 23, 2018

On Monday, November 26 at 3pm EST NASA’s InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander is going to touch down on the smooth plains of Elysium Planitia, Mars. Launched on May 5 this year, the InSight mission aims to explore Mars’ interior structure, its crust, mantle and core and answer questions about the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system 4 billion years ago. To penetrate the ground, the lander is going to use its Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package HP3, which was developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The mission is scheduled to last one Mars year, which is equivalent to about two Earth years. Heat shield first, the lander will plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere, before the deployment of a parachute and the firing of its retro rockets slow it down for a gentle landing on the planets surface. Starting November 25, NASA’s Live Stream is broadcasting a series of press conferences and the live footage of the InSight Mars Landing.