NASA’s InSight spacecraft is closing in on its destination. The space probe has been inching its way toward Mars since May and will reach the red planet’s orbit in about three months’ time.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, InSight set out on a historic mission to study the deep structure of the planet, along with its temperature and tectonic activity. Short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, the spacecraft is the first to ever take a peek under the Martian surface and investigate the planet’s seismic activity, also known as “Marsquakes.”
In order to do that, InSight plans to deploy a lander on Mars in late November, becoming the first NASA mission to land a seismometer on an extraterrestrial surface since the Apollo moon landings.
“InSight is the first Mars mission dedicated to study the deep interior of Mars. Its findings will advance understanding of the early history of all rocky planets, including Earth,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) stated earlier this year.
Headquartered in Pasadena, California, JPL manages this momentous Mars mission, scheduled to land on the red planet on November 26. This means that the JPL headquarters is the place to be when the InSight Mars Lander finally makes its descent toward the Martian surface.
The good news is, you too could be there and celebrate the grand occasion with the JPL team if you hurry up and apply to for a rare backstage pass by the end of tomorrow, NASA announced.
Join us behind-the-scenes as we land @NASAInSight on Mars! Apply to attend a #NASASocial event at @NASAJPL in CA Nov 25-26 where you’ll have the opportunity to tour special facilities, speak with mission scientists & engineers + more! Application & details https://t.co/N96CgU5acG pic.twitter.com/79JEublPqp— NASA (@NASA) August 31, 2018
The space agency has issued an invitation for all digital creators — photographers, Instagrammers, graphic artists, vloggers, “and others using digital tools to share experiences and inform audiences” — to attend a two-day NASA Social event hosted at JPL on November 25 and 26.
“We’re landing a spacecraft on Mars and we want YOU to come behind-the-scenes and help us tell the story!” NASA wrote on Twitter earlier this week.
If you’re an avid social media user with a passion for storytelling and want to be where the action is, go to the NASA website and apply for “a rare opportunity to experience [the] landing live at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California,” space agency officials wrote in a news release.
We’re landing a spacecraft on Mars and we want YOU to come behind-the-scenes and help us tell the story! Apply to attend a #NASASocial event Nov. 25-26 at @NASAJPL in California for the Mars landing of our @NASAInSight spacecraft. Application & details: https://t.co/uAslZq3acm pic.twitter.com/J7cfoQR5EG— NASA (@NASA) August 31, 2018
The lucky chosen will have the chance to go behind the scenes with the InSight team on November 25 and learn more about this incredible mission.
Then, on November 26, the NASA Social participants will be able to watch the InSight lander touch down on Mars’ Elysium Planitia from the JPL headquarters and “share the spacecraft’s landing on the red planet with NASA communicators, scientists and engineers,” noted the space agency.
As part of the Mars landing event, the attendees will get to partake in a special televised pre-landing briefing and tour special facilities around JPL. These include Mission Control for all spacecraft beyond the moon, the Indoor Mars Yard housing the test hardware for the InSight spacecraft, and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility where the Mars 2020 rover is currently being put together.
Tomorrow is the last day to apply for this event, as registration ends on September 3 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Only 30 people will be selected to make the trip to JPL.