Propelled by a predawn rocket launch from California, NASA’s InSight spacecraft is now on a voyage of some six months to Mars to study the deep interior of the red planet.
“The science that we want to do with this mission, the reason we’re going to Mars, is really the science of understanding the early solar system,” said Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator in a prelaunch briefing on Thursday. “How planets form, how rocky planets form.”
It could also provide insights to planets around distant stars and how likely those possess climates and conditions that would be habitable to life.
From The New York Times’ ‘Out There’ series, learn How NASA’s InSight Will Plumb the Depths of Mars. If all goes according to plan, InSight will arrive on Mars on November 26th, 2018. From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, check out its launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on on May 5, 2018:
Related reading: Why Is NASA’s InSight Mars Mission Launching from California?
Next: Take A Fictive Flight Above Real Mars, Travel To Mars and Back In 150 Seconds, and see the Complete MSL Curiosity Descent Interpolated.
Bonus: Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror.