NASA Launched Lander to Mars

The concept art for InSight's design

Photo credit: Creative Commons (JPL-NASA)

The concept art for InSight’s design

Isabelle Harrel, Staff

On Nov. 26, NASA’s lander touched down on Mars.

Known as InSight, the lander will be stationary, and it has multiple missions.

One of InSight’s missions is to determine how much Mars wobbles as it rotates. InSight will let off radio waves that can be measured on Earth (cnn.com). By observing how the frequency of the waves changes, scientists can see the degree that Mars wobbles.

InSight will also be able to detect seismic activity on Mars. According to CNN, “InSight will also deploy a seismometer to listen for marsquakes (like earthquakes, but Martian-style) and for impacts of meteors on the planet.” The information gathered from the waves that are picked up by the seismometer will help scientists determine the makeup of Mars’ interior.

Scientists will learn about the temperature of Mars through data collected by InSight. The lander will use a jackhammer to dig into the surface of Mars, which will allow for it to get a temperature reading (cnn.com).

NASA worked on InSight during the holidays in order for it to be ready for today’s launch.

According to FOX News, “‘While most of the country was enjoying Thanksgiving with their family and friends, the InSight team was busy making the final preparations for Monday’s landing,’ said Tom Hoffman of JPL, InSight’s project manager, in a statement released Sunday. ‘Landing on Mars is difficult and takes a lot of personal sacrifices, such as missing the traditional Thanksgiving, but making InSight successful is well worth the extraordinary effort.'”