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Insight Mars Landing – November 26, 2018

InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core.

Studying Mars’ interior structure answers key questions about the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets. InSight also measures tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars today.

Download NASA Press Kit
Programming Resources

Entry, Descent, and Landing

The entry, descent, and landing (EDL) begins when the spacecraft reaches the Martian atmosphere, about 80 miles (about 128 kilometers) above the surface, and ends with the lander safe and sound on the surface of Mars six minutes later.

For InSight, this phase includes a combination of technologies inherited from past NASA Mars missions such as NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander. This landing system weighs less than the airbags used for the twin rovers or the skycrane used by the Mars Science Laboratory. The lean landing hardware helps InSight place a higher ratio of science instruments to total launch mass on the surface of Mars.

How to Watch (Live and On-Demand)
Coming Soon!
  

Watch Landing Video

Off to Mars! Programming Ideas for the Insight Launch

04/03/2018
On May 5, InSight will begin its six-month journey from the coast of California to the plains of Mars. Once it lands, it will use seismic instruments to explore the interior of Mars in ways that we’ve never “seen” before! Join the STAR Net team and guest presenter Steve Lee (Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Space Science Institute) to learn all about this exciting, innovative mission and fun ways to celebrate its launch and landing at your library!

Meet Our Presenter

Six Ways InSight is Different

NASA has a long and successful track record at Mars. Since 1965, it has flown by, orbited, landed and roved across the surface of the Red Planet. None of that has been easy. Only about 40 percent of the missions ever sent to Mars by any space agency have been successful. The planet’s thin atmosphere makes landing a challenge; its extreme temperature swings make it difficult to operate on the surface. But if a spacecraft survives the trip, there’s a bounty of science to be collected. What can InSight, which is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, do that hasn’t been done before?

Read The Six Ways