NASA’s rover has landed.

Mitchell Palczewski

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NASA is going on a trip on their favorite rocket ship, as their lander Insight has touched down on mars.After a six months cruise, on Nov 26 at 3:00 p.m., the Insight Lander touched down on the Elysium Planitia of Mars. NASA began this mission eight years ago, spending around $993.8 million.

Insight’s primary mission is to study the interior of mars and set up infrastructure for future mars missions. These missions come with a lot of risk whether it be calculation error or a mechanical failure, the $993.8 million could easily go down the drain.

Insight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is working around the clock on mars. The Lander “designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago” by studying “in-depth the inner space of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core.” Insight’s cutting edge technology can reach deep below the surface to explore Mars tectonic activity, seismology, and heat flow.

Insights will travel across Mars rocky surface to find how a rocky body’s like our own earth have formed and evolved. Scientists at NASA hopes to answer how big Mars core is and what it’s made of. As well they want to know the power and frequency of seismic activity and meteor strikes. The goldilocks size of Mars makes it unique in terrestrial planets, which preserves of its formation blueprints, making it a prime target to study planet formation.

Insights secondary mission is to set up two CubeSats which are mini spacecraft called Cube One, and MarCO. These CubeSats “goal was to test new miniaturized deep space communication equipment”. On their arrival they successfully relayed insights data to NASA’s Deep Space Network. These Cubesats act as infrastructure which will help other missions in the future. Insight is only a step in a long future exploring the frontier of space.