In DepthPlanetary Science

Safely settled, InSight gets ready to look inside Mars

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 979-980
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6418.979

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Summary

On 26 November, NASA's InSight lander, designed to reveal the mysteries of Mars's interior, descended from space to the surface of Mars. The $814 million lander, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, followed its script to the letter, culminating in the successful unfurling of its critical solar panels. It was NASA's eighth successful landing in nine tries. The landing was close to a bull's-eye on its target, a vast lava plain, and the lander's first images revealed a landscape seemingly ideal for placing the spacecraft's two primary instruments, a seismometer and heat probe. Over the next 3 months, InSight's scientists will now slowly place both instruments on the surface, with science operations expected to begin by March 2019.