From the Golden State to the Red Planet: InSight's Journey to Mars - NBC Southern California

From the Golden State to the Red Planet

NASA's InSight spacecraft lands on Mars after a six-month journey from the California coast


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.

The Landing Site
Elysium Planitia is a flat equatorial region with few hazardous large rocks. This map shows where InSight will be in relation to other Mars landers.