nasas insight lander on course for mars touchdown on monday
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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NASA's InSight lander on course for Mars touchdown on Monday

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Arab Today, arab today NASA's InSight lander on course for Mars touchdown on Monday

The lander will be recording data on marsquakes.
New York - DPA

NASA's InSight lander is on track for a "soft touchdown" on Mars next week, the space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said on Wednesday.

After the touchdown, predicted to happen on Monday, the lander will be recording data on marsquakes and the planet's interior heat, with the help of a small probe developed by the German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics (DLR).

Sticking the landing, however, is not simple.

"There's a reason engineers call landing on Mars 'seven minutes of terror,'" said InSight's entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead Rob Grover referring to the time allowed for InSight to decelerate from 19,800 kilometres per hour to 8 kph after it hits the top of the Martian atmosphere.

"We can't joystick the landing, so we have to rely on the commands we pre-program into the spacecraft."

The lander was launched after a two-year delay due to issues with the its research equipment, which also nudged up costs to more than 800 million dollars.

"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 will do everything they can to successfully land InSight on the Red Planet," said associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen.

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