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Robotic Geologist Bound For Mars

Artist's Concept of InSight Lander on Mars. Photo: NASA

NASA is poised to launch a robotic geologist to Mars this weekend.

When the InSight lander arrives at Mars, it will dig deeper than ever before to take the planet’s temperature.

The spacecraft launching this weekend from Vandenberg Airforce Base in California will also take the planet’s pulse by making the first measurements of “marsquakes.”

The launch comes after a two-year delay – a technical issue prevented the spacecraft from launching to the red planet back in 2016 – the last time Earth and Mars were aligned.

The spacecraft is hitching a ride on an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance. The two hour launch window opens Saturday morning at 4:05 a.m. PT / 7:05 a.m. ET.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »