NASA's InSight Lander is all set to Enter Mars' Atmosphere

Posted November 24, 2018

Launched on May 5, InSight marks NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012 and the first dedicated to exploring underground. Landing on Mars is extremely complicated-only around 40 percent of missions sent to Mars are successful.

It will touch down on a flat, smooth plain close to the planet's equator called the Elysium Planitia - a place where oddball alien hunters claim to have spotted a "crashed UFO" and an "extraterrestrial city". "InSight is more than a Mars mission - it's a solar system mission".

Automatic interplanetary station Mars InSight on the payments reach the surface of Mars on Monday, 26 November, 15:00 East coast time USA.

An artist illustration of the InSight lander on Mars. According to reports, it would only take 8 minutes for the signal to travel from Mars to Earth.

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One week before the next Mars mission is due to land, NASA has chosen the landing site for its next next Mars mission. This is to ensure that the lander will enter Mars' atmosphere at the right angle.

Viewers around the world can watch the landing live on NASA TV, the agency's website and on social media platforms. Scientists and engineers are working hard on all the hardware that the rover will use to do its job, but up until today, NASA still hadn't actually decided where on the Red Planet the rover would land. Scientists expect Mars 2020 to yield at least five different types of rock, including the kinds of clays and carbonates that are most likely to preserve chemical biosignatures.

However, InSight has a stronger parachute, better avionics, and an improved heat shield - which is created to take a beating from possible dust storms - to help counter these challenges. It'll be powered by two 7-foot-wide solar arrays.

"It will give us some idea how geologically active Mars is at the present day, and will allow us to build more precise models of the Martian interior".

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The United States is the only country to have missions that survived landing on Mars. It will be at 3 p.m. EST meaning 1.30 India on November 27.

The landing won't be captured on video, but NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will broadcast live views of mission control, along with updates, expert commentary, and animations showing every step of InSight's descent.

Astronomy enthusiasts, students, scientists and the general public are encouraged to attend the event by registering online in advance, and collecting access cards from the Library.

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