For decades, Mars has caught the human fancy like no other planet. Immortalized in Hugo Wells “War of the worlds”, and with countless other pop culture references, Mars has millions of fans on earth.
Thanks to the miracles of technology, we have already established the lack of gun-wielding, four-armed denizens on the red planet. Today however, we have the opportunity to watch a lander set its mechanical foot on the surface of the planet in real time.
That’s right. NASA’s InSight Lander will be touching down on Mars at 3 PM ET, and with the whole scientific community interested in the event, NASA has decided to live stream it.
On this mission, the InSight lander will attempt to gain insights into the nature of the plaent’s surface, as well as check out its seismic properties.
Among other highly intelligent people, this mission is the result of efforts from Bruce Banerdt, who is the principal investigator for the mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and who has been lobbying for it since almost two decades. Speaking about the objective of the mission, he had said:
Seismology is the method that we’ve used to gain almost everything we know, all the basic information about the interior of the Earth, and we also used it back during the Apollo era to understand and to measure sort of the properties of the inside of the moon. 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.
The size of a small car, the lander was shot at Mars at speeds faster than that of a bullet fired from a gun, and tool 7-months to reach the red planet.
Do enjoy watching the landing live!