NASA’s Mars InSight lander launced from Vandenberg Air Force Base back in May, and is scheduled to land just north of the Martian equator around 3 p.m. EST on Nov. 26. While Insight won’t be able to move about on Mars like the Curiosity Rover, it will be using a suite of instruments and a seven-foot-long robotic arm to drill up to 16-feet below the surface at its landing site, Elysium Planitia. Its ultimate goal is to compare the interior of Mars to that of Earth so researchers can better understand how these rocky worlds formed billions of years ago. Read more for another mission overview video and additional information.
“In addition to its drill-tipped robotic arm, the lander is equipped with a seismometer and thermometer designed to measure the frequency and magnitude of marsquakes and show how heat from deep inside Mars makes its way to the surface. The InSight lander isn’t designed to search for life, but NASA says it could show whether microbes do, or ever did, live beneath the surface,” reports NBC News.