NASA is launching its InSight spacecraft, which is destined for Mars and designed to study the interior and subsurface of the red planet in order to shed light on the Earth and Solar System’s history.
“InSight is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. The terrestrial planet explorer will open a window into the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than 4.5 billion years ago. Using sophisticated geophysical instruments, InSight will address fundamental questions about the formation of Earth-like planets by detecting the fingerprints of those processes buried deep within the interior of Mars,” NASA said in an official statement.
The Atlas V rocket leaves its launch point at 11:05 GMT from the US Air Force base in Vandenderg, California, carrying NASA’s first robotic lander. This launch is NASA’s first mission to Mars since 2012, when the famous Curiosity Rover landed on the red planet.