Science

NASA's Mars InSight Lander Is Touching Down on the Red Planet Today

NASA's Mars InSight Lander Is Touching Down on the Red Planet Today

Speeding faster than a bullet at 12,300 miles per hour (19,800 kph), the heat-shielded spacecraft encounters scorching frictions as it enters Mars' atmosphere.

While Earth's tectonics and other forces have erased most evidence of its early history, much of Mars - about one-third the size of Earth - is believed to have remained largely static over the eons, creating a geologic time machine for scientists.

If you want to watch the mission as it unfolds, NASA will broadcast live proceedings on its website here.

These instruments include the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structures to investigate what causes the seismic waves on Mars the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package to burrow beneath the surface and determine heat flowing out of the planet and the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment to use radios to study the planet's core. And if you're in NY, you can stand with fellow New Yorkers, tourists and fully grown adults in Elmo suits to celebrate the moment in Times Square.

These first-ever interplanetary CubeSats sport experimental antennas that will relay InSight's signal to Earth some 10 to 20 seconds after landing. Up to now, the success rate at the red planet was only 40 percent, counting every attempted flyby, orbital flight and landing by the U.S., Russian Federation and other spacefaring countries since 1960.

The smaller, 880-pound (360 kg) InSight - its name is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - marks the 21st US-launched Mars missions, dating back to the Mariner fly-bys of the 1960s.

"The landing is all completely automatic and autonomous", says Rob Grover, leader of the Entry, Descent and Landing team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The combo of thousands of steps to be made by InSIght starts with just seven minutes before it reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere, when the cruise stage gets separated. InSight should be provided at the time of landing area in the volcanic highlands of Elysium.

Republican wins racially charged Senate race in Mississippi
The video sparked a furor in the deep South state that has a history of racism and violence against blacks, including lynchings. A week before the runoff election to decide who would permanently fill the seat Hyde-Smith was appointed to after longtime Sen.

The Soviet Union never managed to land on Mars, and both attempts by the European Space Agency flopped.

The InSight lander is aiming for a Monday afternoon touchdown on what scientists and engineers hope will be a flat plain. In less time than it takes to hard-boil an egg, InSight will have to slowed from 12,300 miles per hour to 5 miles per hour before it gently lands on the surface of Mars.

They'll take photos of the landscape to get information about slopes and rock height and take temperature data.

At 3 p.m. ET on Monday, November 26, a group of researchers will be really sweating. The heat probe will measure how much heat is escaping from the planet, and how quickly-a clue to when it was most volcanically active.

InSight's 1.8m robotic arm will be used to place the instruments on the Martian surface, where they will be calibrated. There are two almost identical MarCO spacecraft that launched with InSight last May and have been trailing the probe on its flight to Mars.

"I liken it to playing that claw game at a fairground, but with a very very valuable prize. and you're doing blindfolded and remotely from 300 million miles away", Barret said.

Even though they can't do anything to help InSight as it descends, mission managers should be able to watch its progress. Along the way, we will obtain images and signals from other craft that are buzzing around the planet now.


  • ‘BIG leap forward,’ says Donald Trump on US-China relations

    ‘BIG leap forward,’ says Donald Trump on US-China relations

    Later that month, China reduced the tariff rate to 15 percent on all imported vehicles while raising it for US cars to 40 percent. The government also has promised to ease limits on foreign ownership of automakers, insurance ventures and other companies.
    Lionel Messi leads Barcelona to 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven

    Lionel Messi leads Barcelona to 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven

    Zoet had to keep out a powerful Messi strike early in the second period as Barcelona started on the front foot. PSV unlucky not to go into the break at least one goal in front after twice hitting the frame of the goal.
    Trump says Putin meeting may be off over Ukraine

    Trump says Putin meeting may be off over Ukraine

    White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said, however, that any interaction between the two leaders could not be ruled out. Additional tariffs on auto imports from China would affect any cars produced in China.
  • Kareem Hunt Kicks Abigail Ottinger in February 2018

    Kareem Hunt Kicks Abigail Ottinger in February 2018

    In June 2018, TMZ reported that Hunt had been involved in a fight with a man at the Bay Lodging Resort in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Additionally, the league is leaning toward putting Hunt on the exempt list pending further investigation.
    Olivier Giroud defends N’Golo Kante after Maurizio Sarri slams Spurs display

    Olivier Giroud defends N’Golo Kante after Maurizio Sarri slams Spurs display

    After the Spurs game, Sarri held one-on-one meetings with his players adding: "It's very hard for them, I think, to tell me why". Kante's adopted a different position from last season, playing a more attacking role following the summer signing of Jorginho .
    Holy Cow: Australia’s giant steer has internet in splits

    Holy Cow: Australia’s giant steer has internet in splits

    Much of that is down to Knickers' pure animal magnetism - other cattle tend to follow him around the paddocks in their hundreds. An Australian steer has been saved from slaughter because it is too big to be processed in a normal abattoir.
  • Qatar says will leave OPEC

    Qatar says will leave OPEC

    Qatar's oil production is only around 600,000 bpd, but it is the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The state petroleum agency that reported the news said that the body had been informed of the move.
    NASA’s InSight spacecraft lands on Mars; Tweets and sends first photo

    NASA’s InSight spacecraft lands on Mars; Tweets and sends first photo

    The lander also has a French seismometer for measuring quakes, if they exist on our smaller, geologically calmer neighbor. At about seven miles (11 km) up, InSight deployed its giant parachute to decrease speed as the craft neared the surface.
    Russian Federation  vs Ukraine: What is sparking tensions between Putin and Ukraine?

    Russian Federation vs Ukraine: What is sparking tensions between Putin and Ukraine?

    Kiev said the travel ban was to stop Russians from forming "private armies" who would go on to fight on Ukrainian soil. Travellers who enter Crimea without first crossing through Ukrainian immigration risk a ban and prosecution.
  • George HW Bush's service dog yellow lab Sully mourning goes viral

    George HW Bush's service dog yellow lab Sully mourning goes viral

    Bush will be eulogized by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, whose time in power overlapped with Bush, former US Sen. The casket will then be transported to the cathedral for the funeral service - the fourth there of a former president.
    Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman arrives in Algeria

    Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman arrives in Algeria

    The CIA has told lawmakers that it has medium to high confidence that Prince Mohammad ordered the killing. It has also intensified calls by members of Congress to have Haspel go to Capitol Hill to brief them.
    Nice guys don’t win, says former Aussie skipper Clarke

    Nice guys don’t win, says former Aussie skipper Clarke

    Kohli's body language suggested he was unimpressed by the verdict, especially after watching a replay on the venue's scoreboard. The affair also claimed the scalps of Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland and chairman David Peever.