Published: Sat, November 24, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

NASA's InSight Lander on Track for Mars Touchdown on November 26

NASA's InSight Lander on Track for Mars Touchdown on November 26

"It's a Thursday", said Allen Chen, who's leading the entry, descent and landing team for what's now known as NASA's Mars 2020 rover.

NASA has picked an ancient river delta as the landing site for its uncrewed Mars 2020 rover, to hunt for evidence of past life on Earth's neighbouring planet, officials said Monday.

Mars 2020 will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. "Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life".

NASA officially announces landing site of Mars 2020 rover, and it’s incredibly interesting

Scientists expect Mars 2020 to yield at least five different types of rock, including the kinds of clays and carbonates that are most likely to preserve chemical biosignatures.

It's been many years in the making, but NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is now in the home stretch. It'll also have experiments to test technologies that future astronauts will need, such as producing oxygen from Mars' thin carbon-dioxide atmosphere, and the equipment that's needed to extract and store samples for future missions to pick up.

Landing on Mars is incredibly hard. The lander will be staying in one place and, if all goes well, deploying a robotic "mole" deep into the ground to take the planet's temperature.

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As it once hosted an ancient lake-delta system, NASA hopes Jezero also contains a variety of minerals, which would hugely help discover more about the red planet.

Mars 2020 will use the same sky crane landing that successfully delivered NASA's unmanned Curiosity rover to a location called Gale Crater on Mars back in 2012.

The event will start at 10pm with a lecture on landing on planets by Dr. Essam Heggy, Research Scientist in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a member of several Space Missions.

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The landing kicks off a two-year mission in which InSight will become the first spacecraft to study Mars' deep interior, according to NASA's website.

'Keeping in mind our ambitious goal to eventually send humans to the surface of the Moon and then Mars, I know that our incredible science and engineering team - the only in the world to have successfully landed spacecraft on the Martian surface - will do everything they can to successfully land InSight on the Red Planet'.

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