WATCH: InSight Mars Landing

It's been six years since NASA has visited the Red Planet, but NASA's InSight lander is scheduled land on Mars this afternoon. Watch live coverage from NASA below. The touchdown is expected around 3 p.m.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the Mars mission will streak into the planet's atmosphere at 12,000 miles per hour, and will be slowed by retro rockets and a giant parachute as it makes its 77 mile descent to the ground.  After landing, the stationary probe will wait 16 minutes for the dust to settle before unfurling the solar panels that will give it power.  The landing will take place on a smooth Martian plain close to the planet's equator.  The Insight lander will monitor seismic activity by drilling 16 feet underground, to give scientists a better understanding of how Mars evolved.

 

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