From the Golden State to the Red Planet
InSight's Journey to Mars
InSight's voyage will take about six months. Two small satellites will break off after liftoff, then accompany 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.
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.