American space agency NASA is about to launch a mission to Mars with its new solar-powered lander.
The NASA inspection kit is named InSight, and it’s a 794-pound Martian lander.
InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is set to blast off for Mars from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at around 4 a.m. PT on May 5, 2018.
Scientists at NASA say the lander will give the red planet a 4.5-billion-year-overdue “checkup.”
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InSight has three main objectives on Mars: taking the planet’s temperature, measuring its size, and monitoring for “marsquakes.”
It will take about six months for the InSight lander to travel the roughly 301 million miles from southern California to Martian soil.
NASA said “the launch may be visible in California from Santa Maria to San Diego” if conditions are clear.