"InSight" Mars Rover Expected To Land Today

Mars is in sight for the new NASA mission to collect data on the seismic and geological qualities of the Mars surface. The estimated touchdown time is around three o'clock EST, and a live stream has been set up to broadcast the mission control in Pasadena. This mission is years in the making but the craft has been in motion towards the red planet for six months, and people are on the edge of their seat waiting to know if the mission was a success. NASA has a great success rate with landings on Mars, holding the international record at seven successful landings and only one failure. Communication is carried out between the spacecraft and the Earth by two satellites which trail behind the craft to bridge the 100 million mile gap, but it still leaves an 8 minute gap. NASA says they might not know if the landing was successful for several hours after the actual landing. 

InSight comes equipped with a probe that will hammer itself 16 feet into the ground, a capability far greater than previous rovers. Before InSight no lander has dug deeper than 16 inches, and no seismic testing has been conducted at all. This data can indicate what differences between Mars and Earth make Earth so inhabitable and Mars a desolate wasteland. Despite the rumors of living creatures once roaming the Mars surface InSight has no life detecting capabilities... or so they say.



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