NASA's InSight lander to make perilous maneuver to touch down on Mars

Mars In Sight mission about to touchdown on Red Planet – here’s what you need to know

We're expecting InSight, a spacecraft created to collect information on the makeup of Mars, to land at about 3pm US ET (8pm GMT). "We have no ability to actually, kind of, fly the lander to the surface", Grover says.

What we will see, with a lag-time of about 8 minutes due to the distance between Mars and Earth, is the team in the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Control Center, receiving the messages that InSight sends back from Mars. But before InSight sets to work, the craft must first survive a devilishly hard landing.

On Sunday NASA engineers successfully tweaked the probe's trajectory, steering the spacecraft within a few miles of its targeted entry point over the Red Planet. About 45 seconds before InSight lands, it will drop out of the shell and fall toward the surface. The mission will last for one Martian year (the time it takes for Mars to complete one orbit of the sun), which equates to 26 Earth months.

If successful, the Lander will become the space agency's first probe to reach the Red Planet in six years.

The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3) will compliment SEIS, using a self-hammering device to burrow down to a planned five meters below the surface-deeper than any digging on Mars before. The company was the prime contractor in building InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.

InSight will dig 16 feet into the ground to measure the temperature of Mars and it has a seismometer to detect any Mars-quakes.

InSight's main mission is to gather data about Mars' interior, which is why Hoffman isn't bothered by the boring terrain.

What's more, Monday afternoon will be the first time NASA has attempted to land on Mars in six years, so the stakes are higher.

The lander launching in California
The lander launching in California

The team will check to make sure the instruments can be deployed safely, even if there are rocks nearby or InSight lands at an angle.

The 800-pound, solar-powered InSight is also the first deep-space vehicle to launch from the U.S. West Coast.

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which leads the mission, are preparing for the spacecraft to enter the Martian atmosphere, descend with a parachute and retrorockets, and touch down tomorrow at around noon PST (3 p.m. EST). No other country has managed to set and operate a spacecraft on the dusty red surface.

Should the diminutive spacecraft prove themselves viable, NASA boffins have said the tech could have applications elsewhere in the solar system and at the very least allow for a "bring your own relay" communications option during the critical touchdown phases. And although it is dust storm season on Mars, there are presently no dust storms raging across the surface. Flight controllers haven't given up hope yet that it will be revived.

Artist's rendering of the MarCO-A and MarCO-B cubesats, flying through space to Mars.

The experiments will also help us understand if Mars is volcanically active. However, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin thinks that a slightly later target date of 2040 is more realistic.

Mars gets a new visitor from Earth on Monday.

Here we reveal when and how to watch the Mars Lander touch down on Mars. Mars Odyssey will pass over the landing zone, with its cameras pointed down to capture whether the lander deployed its solar panels, however it will not send that information until 5 hours after the landing.

Salah denies Egypt coach exit claims: I will win trophies for Liverpool
They had moments, they had counter-attacks, you can not avoid that. "I came here and was very happy". He used the time to adjust to what we want, which was really good in the last games he played.

Martin O'Neill & Roy Keane axed Ireland suffer Nations League relegation
Doherty has played five times for the Republic, featuring against Turkey, France, Poland, Denmark and Wales. Former Ireland defender and current Brighton boss Chris Hughton has ruled himself out of the running.

Trump Is 'Most Thankful' For His Own 'Tremendous' Work. Twitter's Jaw Drops
Numerous migrants have said they are seeking asylum and fleeing gang violence and persecution in their home countries. Trump also said on Thursday the USA has shut down its border with Mexico because it's 'out of control'.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jose Mourinho confirms Victor Lindelof sustained injury against Crystal Palace
Nov 25, 2018 - 09:35
Kante , 27, who won the World Cup with France in Russian Federation in July, said: "I'm happy to extend my time with Chelsea ". And I try to make them motivated and to make them motivated that I can not select the same all of the time .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Australia | Windies | ICC Women's World T20
Nov 25, 2018 - 03:43
During India's tournament opener against New Zealand, Mithali was pushed down the order and did not get a chance to bat. Although Gupta's Twitter account was deleted a few hours after her tweets went viral, the damage had already been done.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Arsenal were in decline lost structure under Arsene Wenger - Unai Emery
Nov 25, 2018 - 03:26
Arsenal are 16 games unbeaten and they looked pumped up in training to extend that run against Bournemouth on Sunday. Arsenal are fifth in the standings behind Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea , Liverpool and champions Manchester City .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Liverpool have 'secret transfer agreement' with Barcelona after £142m Philippe Coutinho deal
Nov 25, 2018 - 03:25
The Uruguay global effectively forced his move to the Nou Camp despite the Reds being desperate to keep him. The deal won't stop Liverpool from making their move to sign troubled Barca star Ousmane Dembele.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NASA probes ‘drug-free’ policies, safety at SpaceX, Boeing
Nov 24, 2018 - 03:28
So far it has launched 18 times - tying its record from past year - and says it is getting close to launching NASA's astronauts. Overall, both capsules will go through an uncrewed test and a crewed one, before being ready for their first real missions.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Steph Curry involved in multi-vehicle auto crash on Black Friday
Nov 24, 2018 - 03:20
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was in a auto wreck in California on Friday, but nobody was hurt. Curry has not played in a game for the Warriors since a November 8 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saudi, Turkey leaders likely to hold meeting on sidelines of G20 summit
Nov 24, 2018 - 02:27
Khashoggi is the Washington Post journalist who lived in the USA but was horrifically assassinated in the Saudi embassy in Turkey. We've watched the Saudis actually move in that direction during our time in office as well.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 1 person dead, 2 others hurt after Alabama mall shooting
Nov 24, 2018 - 02:20
Obviously, the mall was packed with people doing their early Black Friday shopping , and chaos erupted when the shots were fired. A shooting on Thanksgiving night at Alabama's largest enclosed mall has left the gunman dead and two people injured.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top How Will Meghan Markle Celebrate Her First Thanksgiving As a Royal
Nov 24, 2018 - 02:15
Jessica added: "Meghan was right behind him and was playfully tickling her toes and said how sweet it was that I'd brought her out today".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mitch Trubisky doubtful for Thanksgiving day, Tyler Bray promoted to roster
Nov 24, 2018 - 01:51
Nagy stressed it isn't a long-term injury , or one requiring surgery, but the Bears will be prepared if Daniel plays. Drew Brees threw just his second interception of the season but more than made up for it with four touchdown passes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NASA picks ancient river delta for Mars rover landing
Nov 24, 2018 - 01:15
This is important for understanding the similarities and differences between Earth, Mars, and other rocky planets", Dr. NASA expects the heat shield to remain hot for around 3 minutes until the parachute deploys.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US Man Killed By Arrow Shots Trying To Reach Isolated Andaman Tribe
Nov 24, 2018 - 01:15
Authorities say Chau arrived in the area on October 16 and stayed on another island while he prepared to travel to North Sentinel. To protect their way of life, foreigners and Indians are banned from going within three miles (five kilometers) of the island .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Power Rankings: Gonzaga earns the No. 1 spot
Nov 23, 2018 - 07:58
However, Gonzaga has controlled the pace from the onset and has given Duke its first real challenge of the season. The Wildcats kept Auburn within reach until the Tigers' second-half run and could not make up the difference.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Despite wind, balloons fly at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
Nov 23, 2018 - 07:12
They'll be joined by 12 marching bands , 26 floats, and musicians like John Legend , Rita Ora , and Diana Ross . Earlier this week Macy's tweeted a look at the balloon's design, which was created with Toei Animation.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Best Black Friday deals of 2018
Nov 23, 2018 - 07:09
In the hardware department, you'll find tons of PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch bundles with a bonus $50 gift card at GameStop. Otherwise, the bundle is available for the standard Black Friday price of $259.99 (regularly $379.99) if you aren't trading-in.