New lander will add to humans' long fascination with Mars

New lander will add to humans' long fascination with Mars

After a journey spanning a mere 300 million miles and taking over six months, NASA's InSight will land on Mars' surface.

Engineers at JPL hope to get real-time electronic confirmation of the spacecraft's safe arrival from miniature satellites that were launched along with InSight and will fly past Mars.

That extreme deceleration has to happen in just under seven minutes.

InSight's primary goal is to be the first lander to make an in-depth study of the inside of Mars.

The JPL controllers also expect to receive a photo of the probe's surroundings on the flat, smooth Martian plain close to the planet's equator called the Elysium Planitia.

It will drill deeper beneath the Martian surface than ever before to find out about Marsquakes and the interior heat of the planet. It will still be two to three months before the instruments are fully deployed.

The thin atmosphere on Mars - just 1% of Earth's - means there is little friction to slow down a spacecraft, and that has played a key role in past failures. The InSight lander will enter the Martian atmosphere at a speed of about 12,300 miles per hour.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory created a timeline of events to track the roughly 14-minute-long landing process.

NASA's live video coverage of the landing will be available starting around 2 p.m. EST.

NASA confirmed that nearly 80 live streaming events will take place for the public in all around the world that is scheduled at 3 pm EST meaning 4 am in Singapore on November 27.

More probes have been sent to Mars than any other planet in the solar system but more than half of these missions have ended in failure, with the final stages, involving landing gently on the Martian surface, proving to be particularly unsafe and unsuccessful. NASA's Curiosity rover landed there in 2012. The last lander to fly to Mars, the Schiaparelli lander operated by the European Space Agency, crash-landed hard because of a miscalculation.



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