Animation of InSight’s Landing on Mars

August 24, 2018
  • english

InSight is the first mission dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars.

InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is scheduled to land at Elysium Planitia on Mars on Nov. 26, 2018. The mission's entry, descent, and landing phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the Martian atmosphere, about 80 miles (about 128 kilometers) above the surface, and ends with the lander safe and sound on the surface of Mars six minutes later.

InSight's landing system uses a combination of technologies inherited from past NASA Mars missions, such as NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The landing system weighs less than the airbags used for the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, or the skycrane used by the Curiosity rover. The lean landing hardware helps place more science instruments to total launch mass on the surface of Mars.

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space, Denver, built the spacecraft. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.