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VECA Holds Watch-party for Mars InSight Landing

On Monday, November 26, 2018, VECA students and viewers everywhere tweeted #marslanding as they tuned in to NASA’s live coverage of the first Mars landing in six years. VECA’s Watch-party for Insight Landing captivated students as they anxiously viewed Mission Control “live” coverage from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as the rover InSight entered into the Martian atmosphere. Approximately six minutes after entering the atmosphere, students, teachers, viewers, and Mission Control were all applauding as InSight landed just before 3pm. What a way to start our week; viewing our sister planet live!

InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed. InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) won't be looking for life on Mars. But studying its insides — what it's made of, how that material is layered and how much heat seeps out of it — could help scientists better understand how a planet's starting materials make it more or less likely to support life. (Potter, S.)

Potter, Sean. “NASA InSight Lander Arrives on Martian Surface.” NASA, NASA, 26 Nov. 2018, www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-insight-lander-arrives-on-martian-surface-to-learn-what-lies-beneath.