Monday NASA’s rover InSight will touch down on the surface of Mars. What the explorer learns there scientists say could mean big answers for Earth.
The InSight is an unmanned, robotic rover about to arrive at its final destination: Mars. It’s traveled more than six months and millions of miles to get there. The Challenger Learning Center is hosting a live viewing of the InSight’s landing, and the event will also offer activities and games about Mars. Susan Borland helped plan the event. She says the InSight’s research on Mars may help scientists better understand all the terrestrial planets, including Earth.
“It is the first robotic explorer thats dedicated to interspace, studying the Mars crust, mantle, and core. And it will answer questions not only about Mars, but about all the terrestrial planets in the solar system," she says. InSight’s task will be studying the Red Planet’s tectonic and geologic activities, along with meteorite impacts. “The fact that we’re doing this in Tallahassee is amazing. I mean some of the other major viewing areas are Times Square, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Smithsonian, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. You know, so I think we should be very proud Tallahassee is providing the same thing as some of these major major venues in very large cities are doing," she says. The InSight’s mission will last two Earth years, which translates to one year on Mars and the rover even carries a seismometer onboard to look for ‘Marsquakes.’ The event runs from 2:30PM to 5:30 and all ages are welcome.