Mission to Mars


Photo provided by: Graphic by: Bailey Carter

In this graphic, the "Magic School Bus" travels to Mars. This graphic mirrors the journey traveled by the InSight lander

Madison Harris, Business Manager / Multimedia Editor

 On Monday, Nov. 26th cheers erupted as the final word was given that the InSight Lander had successfully landed on Mars after its six-month expedition. Throughout the journey, the InSight traveled over 300 million miles. This mission is a crucial step in advancing the world’s knowledge about Mars. 

While the InSight landing was a massive scientific achievement, it was not the first time the United States or NASA has landed on Mars. The first successful landing took place in 1976, which was the Viking Prope, but this didn’t move. Later, NASA sent out the first rover in 1997, which allowed for movement around the planet. The newest Mars landing had many goals, which includes studying the interior of Mars and taking the planet’s vital signs: its pulse and temperature. The Mars Rover was sent with the primary goal of investigating possible life on Mars. The InSight was sent for a different purpose, but many people are still excited to see if the original negative conclusion about life on Mars will be altered as well. 

“The Mars Rover did not find life on mars, but there is still hope,” sophomore Ashlynn Walder said. “I am most looking forward to knowing if this new investigation will change our knowledge on that subject. Through researching other planets, we learn what makes Earth so important for our life, as well as the possibility of finding a planet capable of human exploration.”  

InSight will be digging into the planet to get vital information about the matter that composes Mars and how that differs from Earth. Ever since NASA began studying Mars, people have developed a broader knowledge of Mars and the universe. 

“I think the thing that interests me the most about astronomy is knowing that beyond our planet there are bodies thousands of times larger than ours and that is fascinating,” senior Kayli McClafferty said. “I hope we learn more about the polar ice caps on Mars and what they are made up of. I hope we also learn about the possibility of water on Mars and in the crust.”  

While the Insight has around 5-6 months of adjusting before NASA scientists will begin collecting research, this landing has expanded understanding of how important investigation into life, other planets and the overall universe truly is.  

“There are so many questions about what happens outside of our planet’s atmosphere,” Walder said. “I love to learn about what is beyond our tiny world. When I’m older I want to be an astrophysicist, and hopefully work for NASA to further the research that are the mysteries of the universe.” 

Pullquote Photo

“With the Mars mission I am looking forward to learning if we can cultivate crops of the planet. Learning how other planets work and how different forces are created can us us Insight in our own planet.””

— Mackenzie Walton