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November 26, 2018

NASA celebrates historic Mars landing

The InSight Mission spacecraft successfully landed just before 3 p.m.

Update: The NASA InSight spacecraft made a successful landing just before 3 p.m. on Monday. It will remain on a flat region of the planet called Elysium Planitia to study seismic waves and heat below the planet's surface for two years. 

For the first time in six years, a NASA spacecraft is headed for Mars, scheduled to touch down on the planet's surface Monday afternoon.

NASA launched its InSight Mission lander, aiming for one of the duller parts of Mars' dusty surface, a vast lava plain called Elysium Planitia. NASA refers to the area as "the biggest parking lot on Mars."

If all goes according to plan, InSight will record "Marsquakes" and measure the planet's upper layer heat flow.

Only 40 percent of all Mars-related missions have been successful, and NASA is the only program to have successfully landed on Mars. The most recent event was in 2012 when the Curiosity Rover headed for the red planet to figure out whether the planet had ever been suitable for life.

Two years ago, the European Space Agency unsuccessfully tried to put a lander on Mars, but a glitch sent the probe to the ground.

To give everyone a chance to see the latest discoveries of Mars, NASA is offering live coverage of the event online. Check out the video below to watch.

You can also stream the landing on the NASA InSight Mission site here.

It's been a long journey for InSight, which was launched May 5, 2018. Today's scheduled landing is also seven years to the day that NASA launched Curiosity in 2011.

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