From the Golden State to the Red Planet: InSight's Journey to Mars

Image Gallery
Click here to take a closer look at InSight, its instruments and the years of work that culminate in a historic mission to Mars.

The Launch
The Mars InSight spacecraft launch in May from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was the first inter-planetary launch from the U.S. West Coast. Click to view a launch animation and timeline.

The Journey
InSight had some company on its six-month voyage. Two small satellites broke off after liftoff, then accompanied InSight to provide a communications link.

Descent and Entry
About 80 miles above the Martian surface, InSight will begin a perilous descent through Mars' atmosphere. The spacecraft will be traveling at an astounding 14,100 mph, relying on a heat shield for protection and guided by small rockets.

The Landing
InSight is expected to descend through Mars' atmosphere on Nov. 26. It will use a parachute system and thrusters to control its arrival on the surface.

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