If you’ve been paying any attention to NASA lately, then you’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about the space agency’s InSight mission, which is poised to drop a specialized lander on the Martian surface that will study many of the red planet’s internal mechanisms.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA launched the InSight mission on May 5th, and it’s been traveling through space ever since. Now, more than six months later, InSight is homing in on Mars and is expected to enter the red planet’s atmosphere for landing on Monday, November 26th – less than one week from today.
As you can probably imagine, NASA is getting rather excited about getting this show on the road. In an official statement released just this week, NASA unveiled its plan to involve the general public by live-streaming the landing event on its website and significant social media platforms.
Anyone familiar with Martian landings should know the significance of such an announcement, as it’s the first time in more than six years that NASA has live-streamed any of its Martian landings. NASA doesn’t live-stream its spacecraft landings very often, which highlights the space agency’s intention of making this landing a special one.
The InSight landing is expected to transpire at 3 P.M. on Monday, so if you’re interested in watching it live, then you’re advised to tune into NASA’s YouTube channel by 2 P.M. Eastern time (7 P.M. UTC), so you don’t miss anything important. For your convenience, we’ve embedded the NASA Live YouTube frame below:
After InSight lands, NASA will perform preliminary tests to ensure that the spacecraft touched down safely. Afterward, InSight will deploy its folded solar array so that it can begin collecting power for future scientific operations.
Among the bevy of tasks set before InSight are drilling more than 18 feet below the planet’s surface to investigate internal temperature, utilizing onboard radios that will help discern planetary wobble, and studying tectonic activity to determine whether Mars exhibits Marsquakes.
Not only will it be awe-inspiring to watch InSight land safely on the Martian surface, but it should also be captivating to see what scientific discoveries await us.