How to Watch NASA's InSight Mars Landing Live

The In Sight probe was launched from California on a spacecraft in May

The In Sight probe was launched from California on a spacecraft in May

And so, we want to apply the same techniques but use the waves that are generated by Mars quakes, by meteorite impacts to probe deep into the interior of Mars all the way down to its core. MarCO will try to share data about InSight when it enters the Martian atmosphere for the landing.

Earth's success rate at Mars is just 40 percent, counting every attempted flyby, orbital flight and landing by the US, Russia and other countries dating back to 1960. "Now we finally will explore inside Mars and deepen our understanding of our terrestrial neighbor as NASA prepares to send human explorers deeper into the solar system". Secondly, since the lander will not move upon touchdown (unlike a rover), it was important to land in a place where science experiments could be performed at ease. Tricky from the lander's deck.

The entire landing sequence will take about seven minutes to occur.

"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.

After that landing, InSight will deploy its solar array to power its instruments, which will probe Mars' terrain, temperature and geological structure.

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.

Its 123km descent will be slowed by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute and retro rockets.

To mark the occasion, NASA will be livestreaming the event on its dedicated TV channel, through its website and on its social media platforms. A few minutes later, a splotchy red and brown image appeared on the control room's main screen - InSight's first photograph from its new home. That's like scoring a soccer goal from about 80,000 miles away, and doing it at an exactly 12 degree angle to prevent burning up or skipping off the atmosphere.

NASA handout shows illustration of simulated view of the In Sight probe about to land on Mars
NASA handout shows illustration of simulated view of the In Sight probe about to land on Mars

PALCA: The heat shield does its thing for about 3.5 minutes. This is when the intense heat could cause temporary drops in the radio signal from the craft. Less than a minute after the parachute deploys, the probe will first jettison its protective heat shield and extend its three legs.

In ballet-like fashion, InSight will do a gravity turn to make sure the lander is in the right position before touching down. Then, it will touch down at 2:54 p.m. Landing is scheduled for about 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT).

InSight was launched seven months ago, traveling 301,223,981 miles and reaching a top speed of 6,200 mph.

Unlike InSight, the MarCO probes won't stop at Mars.

The NASA Insight Mission will take place on Monday, November 26.

The two Scots scientists, from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling, are part of the team that will study data garnered from the heat flow and physical properties probe, better known as HP3. Those findings could illuminate how Mars became the desolate desert world we see today.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, already in orbit around Mars, will record data from the landing attempt for future analysis, while the MarCO CubeSats will relay real-time information as the spacecraft descends.

The lander's 12 descent engines will fire, slowing it down and straightening the spacecraft for what engineers hope will be a soft landing in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars, about 373 miles (600 km) north of the Curiosity rover's initial landing site at Gale Crater.

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