How to Watch NASA's Live Stream of the InSight Mars Landing
The InSight Lander will touch down on Mars today, November 26, concluding its seven-month journey from Earth. For space fans looking for a way to watch the event, NASA will be streaming it live on its website between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET, Live Science reports.
InSight (which stands for "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport") launched off an Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 5, making it NASA's first interplanetary mission to leave from somewhere other than Florida's Space Coast.
After covering 91 million miles of the solar system, the Insight Lander is set to make contact with the Red Planet's Elysium Planitia. The smooth, flat plain won't be as exciting to look at as Mars's mountains and canyons, but it will serve as an ideal setting for InSight's mission. Using a heat probe and seismometers, the lander will map the interior of Mars over the next two years, giving NASA scientists the best picture of the geological history of the planet they've had up to this point.
But before InSight can start collecting data, it must successfully reach the planet's surface. The lander will break through the Martian atmosphere and parachute to the ground—a process that should take about six minutes—between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET today, and you can watch the landing live on NASA TV. You can also stream it on Space.com.
The feed isn't expected to be the clearest, so NASA will be waiting on a radio signal from the craft to determine if the landing was successful. If it makes it to Mars intact, InSight will begin mapping the interior of the planet within the next several months.
[h/t Live Science]