November 26 will be a red-letter day for NASA when InSight lander will settle down on the red planet for a yearlong mission on Mars. The space agency launched it on May 5, and it will arrive at its destination on November 26. It is not like Curiosity that is mobile and has been there for more than five years.

The lander will remain at a fixed location and will drill into the depths of the planet to extract samples of its riches and keep track of its health.

CNN reports that the task assigned to it is to explore the interiors of Mars. Past missions to the planet concentrated on its external surfaces and topography, but during this mission, it will devote its time drilling into its rocks.

NASA expects the exercise will help bring to unknown light aspects of the planet.

NASA is upbeat about InSight

The world will be waiting anxiously to watch InSight land on the distant planet. There will be live coverage of this historic mission by NASA on lines similar to that of Curiosity rover in 2012. In the opinion of experts, landing on Mars is not a straightforward affair because the success percentage is hardly 40. They attribute this to the thin atmosphere. The rover is equipped with mechanisms to arrest the speed as it is in the descent mode and its three landers will absorb the shocks at touchdown.

Its design permits landing even if there is a dust storm.

The selection of the landing site had to meet certain criteria. It had to be open and flat to the extent possible because it will have to work in a stationary position for the duration of two Earth years. The site finally chosen is Elysium Planitia.

Once on Mars, it will “unfurl its solar panels and a robotic arm and study the entire planet from its parking spot."

InSight could unravel mysteries of Mars

According to Metro UK, the latest robotic craft of NASA is on a mission to Mars to learn more about the planet that man wants to colonize. It will engage in measuring ‘Mars-quakes’ for the first time and collect other data that will help future missions.

Scientists are keen to examine the internal rumblings of the red planet to understand it better. European Space Agency is also interested in exploring Mars. It had discovered signs of water there in 2005. It was like a huge “frozen ocean,” appeared to have come to the surface through fissures in the rocks, and ultimately froze. Its size is comparable to the North Sea.

Mars is in the radar of many countries, and they are keen to unravel its secrets and exploit the opportunities. NASA has already taken the lead with Curiosity, and now InSight will join. Incidentally, many people have volunteered to undertake a one-way journey to the distant planet, and it is to be seen when man will finally set his feet on the red planet.