InSight on Mars

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

Today NASA will “…initiate a manoeuvre that is their least favourite activity in space: they will attempt to land a robot spaceship on Mars.

In this case they will attempt to set down their probe, InSight, gently on to an area known as Elysium Planitia where it is intended to analyse seismic activity on the red planet.

More probes have been sent to Mars than any other planet in the solar system but more than half of these missions have ended in failure, with the final stages, involving landing gently on the Martian surface, proving to be particularly dangerous and unsuccessful.” — The Guardian managing Tariq Malik gives you some fast facts about NASA’s InSight lander that will study the Martian interior.

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44 thoughts on “InSight on Mars”

  1. space:

    NASA’s InSight Mars Lander Reaches Mars Today! Here’s What to Expect

    After a nearly seven-month deep-space journey covering more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometers), NASA’s InSight lander is set to touch down on Mars today (Nov. 26) just before 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT). You can watch the action live here at courtesy of NASA, beginning at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT).
    More than half of all Mars missions have failed to arrive safely at the Red Planet over the years, so the InSight team is anxious about today’s events. [NASA’s InSight Mars Lander: Full Coverage]
    “I am completely excited and completely nervous, all at the same time,” InSight project manager Tom Hoffman said yesterday (Nov. 25) during a news conference here at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
    “Everything we’ve done to date makes us feel comfortable and confident we’re going to land on Mars,” added Hoffman, who’s based at JPL. “But everything has to go perfectly, and Mars could always throw us a curveball.”
    Hoffman also said that he’s been having trouble sleeping over the past few days, but nerves aren’t the only reason; his young grandkids are visiting for Thanksgiving, and they’ve been boisterous.
    InSight will barrel into the Martian atmosphere today at about 12,300 mph (19,800 km/h). Atmospheric drag will dissipate about 90 percent of the lander’s considerable kinetic energy, but that won’t be enough; InSight will slow itself further with the aid of a supersonic parachute, and then thrusters.
    If all goes according to plan, the lander will drop softly onto the red dirt of a flat, boring equatorial plain called Elysium Planitia at about 5 mph (8 km/h) — slightly faster than walking speed. And touchdown will occur a mere 6.5 minutes after InSight gets its first taste of Mars air.
    But the tension won’t abate right after landing. The InSight team won’t know that the stationary spacecraft’s solar panels have deployed until 8:35 p.m. EST (0135 GMT) at the earliest, when NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter will be in position to relay home to Earth confirmation of that milestone event.
    The $850 million InSight Mars lander mission — whose name is short for “Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport” — launched on May 5 atop an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This was a first: all previous NASA interplanetary missions had launched from Florida’s Space Coast.



  2. I was on sabbatical yesterday, so a belated thank you Jace, for your brilliant selection; and, you Pat, for recognition of the awesome performance of my Buckeyes. Son in law, a Michigander, is in a deep funk. The OSU crowd was amazing—even after the game with the field absolutely chock-full of reveling humanity, the camera panned to the stands and they were still full as well.

  3. Hmmmm … buckeyes 🙂 Chocolate …. Peanut Butter ….

    Continued success, Flatus to your favorite teams ( & a great state.)

  4. politico:

    Trump accuses Mueller of ignoring 2016 staffers who ‘want to be’ questioned
    President Donald Trump complained Monday that Robert Mueller has thus far ignored Trump 2016 campaign staff who the president said want to be interviewed for the special counsel’s Russia investigation, renewing his attacks on Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government as biased.
    “[W]ill he be putting in statements from hundreds of people closely involved with my campaign who never met, saw or spoke to a Russian during this period?” the president wrote, referring to Mueller’s expected final report. “So many campaign workers, people inside from the beginning, ask me why they have not been called (they want to be).”

  5. the guardian:

    Officials arrested 42 migrants on the US side of the border with Mexico on Sunday, a border patrol official said, claiming agents released teargas only when attacked with rocks.
    The US official also answered criticism of the use of gas on groups including women and children, images of which spread rapidly online on Sunday, by saying the migrants pushed “women and children towards the front”.
    The arrests came amid clashes with members of a migrant caravan attempting to enter the US from Tijuana, where teargas was used to repel people trying to run across the border.
    Rodney Scott, the chief agent for the San Diego sector, told CNN on Monday morning his agents arrested 42 people who made it across the border. Thirty-nine arrests were reported on the Mexican side of the border.
    Scott said eight of those arrested were women, and there were “only a few” children involved. “The vast majority of the people we’re dealing with are adult males,” he said.
    The official rejected criticism of the use of teargas on a group that included children, saying some migrants had pelted agents with rocks and debris.
    “The group immediately started throwing rocks and debris at our agents, taunting our agents,” he said. “Once our agents were assaulted, the numbers started growing. We had two or three agents at a time initially facing hundreds of people at a time. They deployed teargas to protect themselves and to protect the border.”
    Three agents were struck by rocks but were wearing helmets, shields and vests and were not seriously injured, Scott said. He said a number of border patrol vehicles were damaged.
    Members of the migrant caravan are mostly Central Americans fleeing violence or poverty in their home countries and planning to apply for asylum in the US.
    Scott said “numerous people” made it across the border in an area where a wall is in the process of being built. Parts of the border have a dilapidated wall made of scrap metal, Scott said.
    “The group breached a couple sections of that, actually tore down one small section, started to rush across,” he said. “And that’s another time that they started assaulting our agents. We were able to hold them back using riot techniques.”
    Scott said members of the group passed border patrol units “chanting, waving the Honduran flag, and throwing rocks” and did not surrender to apply for asylum. “If they were true asylum seekers, they would have just walked up with their hands up and surrendered,” he said. “And that did not take place.”
    Scott claimed the caravan had pushed women and children to the front of the group, resulting in images of small children fleeing from teargas that sparked outrage.
    “The group … would push women and children towards the front, and then begin basically rocking our agents,” he said. “We try to target specifically the instigators, specifically the person assaulting the agents, but as you saw from the video, once that chemical is released it does go through the air.
    “I was in an area where I actually inhaled quite a bit of it yesterday as well. That’s what’s going to happen in those situations.”
    The crossing at Tijuana was closed on Sunday but open again on Monday.
    Early on Monday, Donald Trump tweeted: “Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!”

  6. the rock throwers likely were organized by trump & co sent to put on a show for purposes of distraction.

    bet the money behind it is ruble based

  7. Two totally unrelated items worth noting today.

    Pelosi seems to be pulling it together in her bid to become speaker.

    The White House doesn’t have enough lawyers on staff to handle  the anticipated number of subpoenas that will coming their way from various house committees. They are totally unprepared for a Democratic take over in the house.

  8. Nancy P  she is a very hard worker and not an elitist at all .    The California Democratic party was better when she was chair — John Burton and Willie Brown have made it their private playpen — although the grass roots oppose them frequently.

  9. The wife of one of my nephews is a Super Buckeye. She’s a professor at the university’s College of Medicine.

  10. Win at any and all costs is the motto of Ohio State — Woody Hays was the epitome of that behavior but hasn’t substantially decreased.  The current football coach is immeshed is a scandal in how he handled a domestic abuse issue.

    And regardless of what  Ohio State says — the name of the place is not The Ohio State University.

    Over 1/2 of my hs class went to Ohio State

  11. (CNN)An associate of Roger Stone said Monday he is refusing to sign a plea deal offered by special counsel Robert Mueller.
    Jerome Corsi, whose role in Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election largely revolves around the possibility that he was an intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks, said he was offered a deal to plea on one count of perjury.
    “They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie,” Corsi told CNN in a phone call.
    Asked what happens now that he is refusing, Corsi responded: “I don’t know.”
    A spokesman for the special counsel’s office had no comment.

    Last week, Corsi acknowledged he was in plea negotiations with Mueller’s office, and earlier this month, he said he expected to be indicted for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand jury.”
    Corsi said Monday that he believed he would by lying by signing the plea agreement because he says he did not willfully mislead anyone.
    Describing his experience with Mueller’s team as “like being interrogated as a POW in the Korean War,” Corsi said after two months of questioning, prosecutors believed they caught him in various lies and did not appear to believe him when he said he could not recall certain events.
    Corsi insisted he had no contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that “investigators were so mad because I didn’t give them what they wanted.”
    He claimed that Mueller’s team wanted to keep any plea agreement sealed, a point that particularly incensed him. Corsi said he would be required to report legal infractions to financial regulators.

    In a statement on Monday following Corsi’s latest comments, Stone said the special counsel was harassing Corsi “not for lying, but for refusing to lie” and continued to maintain his own innocence.
    “It is inconceivable that in America someone would be prosecuted for refusing to swear to a false narrative pushed on him by the Muller investigators,” Stone said.
    Stone also said last week that as far as he knew, Corsi “refuses to lie,” and expressed sympathy for his associate’s apparent legal problems, while also appearing to question his credibility.
    “He doesn’t believe the moon landing happened, for example — he thinks it was staged,” Stone said.
    Corsi’s comments have added to the public focus around Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, and the Mueller investigation.
    Corsi injected himself into Stone’s situation last year when he claimed that one of his own articles for InfoWars inspired Stone to predict in October 2016 that there would be trouble coming for Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Not long after that, WikiLeaks started releasing thousands of Podesta’s hacked emails.
    Stone has denied wrongdoing regarding WikiLeaks’ releases during the 2016 campaign, and several of his associates have been brought before a grand jury as Mueller’s team continued its investigation of Stone.
    “I never received advance notice, from anyone, that Podesta’s emails had been ‘nicked,’ as the Brits would say, and would be published,” Stone said Monday. “Any and all research I received from Dr. Corsi came from public legal sources. As Dr. Corsi has said I have no knowledge of any contact or communication with Julian Assange or WikiLeaks by Dr. Corsi.”
    For his part, Stone released a series of text messages between himself and New York radio host Randy Credico last week, showing the two discussing a coming threat to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign shortly before WikiLeaks’ Podesta publications.

  12. One nice thing about hospital stays (!) is that both Buffalo General & Erie County Medical Center are training places for local medical students. I was a willing guinea pig for the newbies – my nurses knew that I was OK with the students so steered them towards me. All of them started out so shy & nervous but after a couple days had confidence. I thought the middle eastern young man who was told to bring me a bedpan would die 😉 His change was miraculous within a week. Always thanking them is a big plus. I hope I helped them in some way.


  13. “They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie,”

    said by the guy who promoted swiftboating of Kelly, birther crap re Obama, and who wrote

    Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump

  14. sj…  your 12:50… nice post.

    Jerome Corsi…    ha…  trump is going down no matter how much you lie…  and you and Stone are going with him.

    college football….   meh…  I can’t stand watching 52-3 games.

  15. the hill:
    Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) rebuked President Trump on Monday, describing his view of politics as a series of “convenient transactions” in her first comments since the president targeted her and other GOP lawmakers who lost their elections after declining to campaign with him.
    “When the president, President Trump took a jab at me because he thought that the race was over, and he lamented that I wouldn’t ask him to come to the state of Utah, I was somewhat surprised at first,” Love told supporters and journalists during a speech in Salt Lake City.
    “The president’s behavior toward me made me wonder, what did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican?” she said. “It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it something else? Well, Mr. President, we’ll have to chat about that.
    “However, this gave me a clear vision of his world as it is,” she continued. “No real relationships, just convenient transactions. That is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy.”
    Monday marked Love’s first public comments since she lost her race to Democrat Ben McAdams by less than 700 votes in Utah’s Fourth Congressional District.
    The outgoing representative said Monday that the campaign was indicative of broader problems that politicians in Washington, D.C., and Republicans in particular, have connecting with minorities.
    “It’s transactional, it’s not personal,” she said. “We feel like politicians claim they know what’s best for us from a safe distance, yet they’re never willing to take us home. Because republicans never take minority communities into their home and citizens into their homes and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats.”
    Love closed by telling attendees that she is “untethered” and able to say “exactly what’s on my mind” moving forward. She did not rule out running again in 2020.

  16. SJ, Ophthalmology is her specialty. I totally agree with you about our (patients) responsibilities in helping to bring along new practitioners. And, no matter how seasoned the doc might be, I let them know that I expect to see those hands sanitized in front of me every time they enter the room.

  17. Love finally gets it. Too little too late. Meanwhile Trump goes to Mississippi to campaign for another avowed racist.

  18. My Gophers upset Wisconsin on Saturday, 37 – 15, and then the Vikings beat Green Bay on Sunday.

    Life is good.

  19. LANDED!!!


    US space agency Nasa has landed a new robot on Mars after a dramatic seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet.
    The InSight probe aims to study the deep interior of Mars, and make it the only planet – apart from Earth – that has been examined in this way.
    The touchdown confirmation came through shortly after 19:50 GMT.
    It ended an anxious seven minutes in which the robot radioed home updates on its descent.
    Nasa’s mission control in California erupted with delight when it became clear InSight was safe on the ground.
    The probe landed safely on a flat plain known as Elysium Planitia, close to the Red Planet’s equator.
    Engineers are currently awaiting a health report and a picture from the probe that shows its surroundings.
    These should be returned to Earth in the next few hours.

  20. “Doesn’t trump cheat at golf, too ?”

    X-R, does a bear sh*t in the woods?

    from old 2015 story in wapo
    “Golf is like bicycle shorts: It can reveal a lot about a guy,” said Rick Reilly, the sportswriter who hit the links with Trump for his 2004 book “Who’s Your Caddy?” — in which Reilly lugged clubs for several of the world’s best golfers and VIP amateurs.
    As for Trump? “When it comes to cheating, he’s an 11 on a scale of one to 10,” Reilly said.

  21. and from this past January at
    LPGA legend Suzann Pettersen is fond of the sitting U.S. president. But she’s not so sure about his handicap.
    In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, Pettersen detailed the many sides to her relationship with President Trump, whom she has known on and off the golf course for over a decade.
    “He cheats like hell,” the 15-time LPGA Tour winner said. “So I don’t quite know how he is in business. They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business.” Pettersen also said the president must pay his caddies well, as drives that are headed for the woods always ends up back in the fairway. She also mentioned his fondness for gimmes.

  22. I read something a year or two ago that said that when he plays golf he improves his lie and doesn’t count mulligans he takes as strokes.  Sounds about right.

  23. XR, congrats to the Golden Gophers and Vikes.  I’ve loved the Vikings since Fran Tarkenton’s stint there, and Wisconsin needed to get a dose of reality IMHO, not that they had any chance of matching NWern in the Big Ten East (although in truth I’m not sure I heard Badger fans talking about that after they lost to Penn State).   And Flatus, assuming Bama gets past Georgia this Saturday I look forward to an OH State – Bama matchup in the playoff semis.

  24. Pardner: Where I come from, Mr. Rumson, we’re cautious of strangers who talk in an easy manner. Rumson: Oh. You’ve got me down as some kind of low scuff from New Orleans, hm? Sell you patent medicine with one hand, pinch your purse with the other? Pardner: Matter of fact, that’s kind of what I was thinkin’. Rumson: As a matter of fact, Pardner, you’re right. But I ain’t yet sunk to horse stealin’. Oh, I’ve salted claims, yeah. And I’ve sold whiskey to Injuns. And once a man in Walla Walla come at me with a gun and I killed him. I can’t think of one commandment I ain’t shattered regular. I never did fancy my mother and father, let alone respect ’em or honor ’em. And I have coveted my neighbor’s wife – whenever I had a neighbor and he had a wife, mm, mmm! And I gamble and I cheat at cards, but there’s one thing I do not do. I ain’t never gulled a pardner. The one sacred thing, even to low scuff like me, is a man’s pardner. 

    The Occupant would gull a partner.


  25. Oh, and KC, yes, those buckeye candies are gross – and I love them so (what’s not to like about peanut butter covered with chocolate)? I could eat a box of Malley’s version at a sitting.

  26. Extra credit if you know A) what Nesselrode is B) have seen it C) have used it.

    I remember it every Christmas. Rather rare now, I think. An acquired taste.

    The mention of Mrs Rombauer jarred my memory 😉


  27. X-R

    Congratulations my badgers are not  so hot this year.

    And we love Aaron Rodgers — one of the lame announcers kept calling him Aaron Jones  wtf


  28. Having been involved in space stuff there really is something special in the feeling of success with a space thing.  It is different from a Earth thing because once it leaves Earth there is no way to touch it, at least without a change to space doctrine, Hubel was the last that we could service.  You can, usually, control space things, but that is not always possible.

    Congrats to all involved with Insight.  It is a good feeling.

  29. A soft landing on Mars might not be all that much fun for me, but if I was a member of the team that sent inSight up I would be looking for the best happy hour I could find tonight and an Uber home.

    XR & KC, Aaron Jones?  WhoTF is that?

  30. Pogo, exploration in the intellectual sense is an incredibly trivial percentage of our, and others, space efforts. And that’s a damned shame.

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