NASA’s first lander to Mars since 2012 is set to happen on Saturday May 5. The launch will take place from Vandenberg air force base in California. But what is NASA hoping to glean with this years-long mission and how are they going to accomplish it? Below is everything you need to know about NASA’s upcoming Mars mission.
The Mars InSight mission includes detecting “marsquakes” and taking the temperature of the red planet’s interior. With InSight, scientists hope to better understand how rocky planets, like Earth, formed 4 billion years ago.
InSight stands for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transportation. The lander is expected to launch May 5, 2018 and its journey to Mars will last more than 6 months. If all goes well, it should land on November 26, 2018. InSight carries a seismometer, that will detect seismic activity on Mars, like “marsquakes,” and map out the planet’s interior. It also has a heat probe that will read how much heat is flowing through the planet. InSight will also detect changes in Mars’ axis rotation, which scientists hope will shed some light on the planet’s core. The historical Mars mission is expected to last around 2 Earth years.