NASA InSight has passed the halfway point to Mars.
An illustration of the route InSight takes to get to Mars.
InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, travels less than halfway around the sun before it reaches Mars. After InSight leaves the rocket’s protective fairing, mission navigators adjust its flight path to first point it towards Mars, and then ensure that it reaches the right point above the Martian atmosphere for landing. These adjustments are also known as “trajectory correction maneuvers,” or TCMs. Six such adjustments are planned for InSight, as well as two back-ups.
InSight is the first mission dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars. Its findings will advance understanding of the early history of all rocky planets, including Earth.
JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight Project for NASA s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space, Denver, built the spacecraft. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.