The green circles indicate data coming from the InSight lander as it enters the Martian atmosphere to the two MarCO CubeSats A and B flying by. The blue circles are the MarCO CubeSats relaying the data back to Earth.
A little over an Earth Day ago, NASA’s InSight spacecraft landed on Mars. KCRW’s Tod Mesirow was at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to witness the historic touchdown of the eighth spacecraft ever to have landed on the red planet.
The team at JPL was able to actually watch InSight’s landing. “It’s like a reality show,” Mesirow said of the excitement.
The ability to watch the landing was all thanks to two CubeSats that followed the spacecraft’s journey. “CubeSats are a new kind of small satellite,” Mesirow explained. They will be collecting data from InSight’s mission and “transmitting that data back to Earth.”
Mesirow sat down with Steve Chiotakis to dig in on the implications of this historic landing.