InSight Mars Landing to Air Live on November 26

InSight Landing to Air Live on NASA Television 1 photo
Photo: NASA
Less than two weeks are left until NASA’s latest interplanetary mission, InSight, reaches Mars and will attempt mankind’s first landing there in more than six years. As a premiere, the descent of the craft towards the Red Planet will air live on NASA Television, its website and social media.
The start of the coverage is scheduled to begin at around p.m. EST on November 26. NASA says we will not get to see images sent back from over 50 million km (3.1 million miles) away, but will show pictures coming from mission control in Pasadena, California, via "an uninterrupted, clean feed from cameras inside JPL Mission Control, with mission audio only."

Separately, 80 live viewing events for the public will be set up in locations across the U.S. and Europe, but also on the small Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.

The agency has two eyes in the sky to cover the landing in situ. These two eyes are the pair of CubeSats called MarCO that have been accompanying the mission on its months-long journey to Mars.

For images of the InSight to be recorded, the CubeSats will have to make a Martian flyby and relay the data back. Since this hasn't been attempted before, it’s unclear whether it will work, but the several images sent back throughout past months by the two are a good sign of things going well so far.

The landing of the InSight will mark the first such event since the landing of the Curiosity rover back in 2012. Once on the surface, the lander will begin its planned two-year mission to study the planet’s interior.

Various instruments will be used to look for quakes, perturbations of Mars' rotation axis, information about the planet's core or the amount of heat escaping from underneath Mars’ crust.

InSight was built back in 2010, and was initially scheduled to leave for Mars in 2016. Because of a failure to one of the instruments, the launch was canceled and rescheduled for this year.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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