NASA to Livestream Insight Mars Landing November 26

Seems like the Mars jinx is long overdue. Last significant failure was maybe that Russian / Chinese partnership to the moon Phobos in 2011. With so many successes in a row (including India), maybe it's finally been laid to rest.

Watch here:

I just watched a very informative recorded Q&A several days ago with reporters from things like and a panel of scientists on the above website. There are doing another live briefing and Q&A right now with a different lineup.

or watch here

or watch on JPL's Youtube channel here

The schedule of what's on tap (press conferences, briefings, live coverage from JPL) is here:

The landing is set to occur tomorrow (Monday) about 12 noon Pacific Time (3 PM Eastern). The live coverage comes on about an hour earlier 11 AM Pacific (2 PM Eastern). There will be a post-landing (or post-crash) briefing to discuss the success or failure at approximately 2 PM Pacific (5 PM Eastern)

There are going to be a bunch of live watch-parties all over the US (and several in France and Germany, even one on the island of Reunion, in the Indian ocean) too. There's a list of them here if anyone wants to get together and talk about landing things on Mars with a bunch of Mars nuts.
The livestream is on.


They are passing around peanuts in the mission control room at JPL. It's a tradition there that goes back to the early Ranger missions. The first few failed. Then when they tried once again, somebody passed around peanuts and the mission worked!

They have passed around peanuts for every mission at JPL ever since. And they have an exemplary record of success!

Don't mess with what works! It's a confirmed hypothesis! It's science!

Edit: Communications team says that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (which will serve as a communications link between the lander and Earth) is working great. They are also communicating and getting telemetry back from both of the MARCOs, tiny little 'cubesats' each smaller than a briefcase that accompanied the insight lander to Mars, will do a quick fly-by but won't orbit, and hopefully will be the first to relay word from the Insight lander to Earth.

The MARCOs are a technology demonstration for using tiny little micro-spacecraft (cheaper, easier to launch, built with 'off-the-shelf' components and capable of flying in 'swarms') in interplanetary missions. Since the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter has to move to the right point in its Mars orbit to communicate word of the landing to Earth, the MARCOs should be the first to let us know what happened.

So far, so good.

Edit 2: The cruise stage has separated from the lander inside its protective heat-shield housing. The lander has successfully rotated from a lock on the Sun to orienting on Mars, as it assumes the proper attitude for Mars atmosphere entry.

Edit 3: Atmospheric entry has begun. Telemetry is being received... ionization has cut the lander off from radio communication. MARCOs report they are still still have carrier lock.

Edit 4: Plasma blackout is over and telemetry has been reacquired (the lander is still alive after entering the atmosphere!). Next up - supersonic parachute deploy.

Edit 5: Parachute deployed, radar altimeter is on.

Edit 6: Radar has locked on to Mars surface. Landing rockets on the lander still need to land the thing, since parachutes on Mars won't slow it down enough for landing.


Everyone is cheering, laughing and hugging each other at JPL. The MARCOs are sending back data from Insight.

Now all the scientific instruments still have to be deployed and calibrated. But the short period of terror is over. It's safely down on the Martian surface. Hopefully not atop a rock.
Quote:They have passed around peanuts for every mission at JPL ever since. And they have an exemplary record of success!

Even scientists and engineers aren't immune to magical thinking.
Awesome!!! Watched it. When the camera pans the room I thought about what we can do as a species to showcase our intelligence. Mind you, I'm dealing only in the present time, no matter how we compare to some other alien intelligences that may have experienced the same exploratory urge long ago.
First photo from Insight, relayed by one of the MARCO's. It's a wide-angle fisheye lens, photographed through a protective transparent lens cap that will be removed in two or three days. The view should be better once it's off. (The camera isn't for beauty-shots, it's to help them position the extremely sensitive seismograph and the boring thing that hopes to penetrate as deep as it can to take temperature measurements.) The spots are crud on the lens cap, kicked up by the landing. The Martian horizon is towards the top, the thing at the lower right is one of Insights landing feet, and a rock is visible in the lower left. The soil appears to be sandy. They are very happy about that, since it's precisely what they want. They say they appear to have landed very close to the spot they were shooting for. They still need to analyze the data to tell how far off they are. They were shooting for a flat plain to avoid adventures with mountains and canyons. They wanted soft dirt rather than hard rock.

Yaz....I understand it's sandy at the surface but do they know enough about the landing zone to practically guarantee they won't hit rock shortly after they start hammering down the probe? Do you know if the bit/probe has some wiggle room should it hit a small rock that blocks its path? Or do they hope constant hammering will either move the obstruction or break it up? Also if probe is deflected and eventually is left at an angle then will it still operate efficiently?

To the best of your knowledge there is no device on board that could do subterranean sonar to determine if the borehole path is clear?
MR will like this "compelling" video of a UFO landing on Mars, photographed by the Insight Mars Lander.

In reality, it's Insight's robot arm placing the protective cover over the seismograph that it recently planted. The seismograph is so sensitive that they don't want martian wind blowing on it.

Here's a scientific paper that explains in great detail how the scientists hope to use the seismograph and what they hope to learn from it.
The French developers of the seismograph say 'felicitations' to the NASA-JPL team that deployed it. They say that the 'deploiement' was 'incroyable et spectaculaire'.

Here's a photo of a group of white-coated boffins planning the deployment at JPL. Since Mars is so far away, they couldn't remote control the robot arm's movements from Earth. So they had to lay everything out in scale, prepare a set of movements that successfully accomplish their objectives, then transmit the movements to Mars and command Insight's arm to perform them.

And it worked on Mars just as it did in the lab.

[Image: DylZvbmV4AAaS1Q.jpg]

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