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The NASA spacecraft that just landed on Mars has a Central Coast connection

InSight will plumb the depths of Mars

Fascinating and evocative simulations of NASA’s InSight spacecraft's mission. It's heading to Mars to listen for marsquakes and probe the geological heart of the planet.
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Fascinating and evocative simulations of NASA’s InSight spacecraft's mission. It's heading to Mars to listen for marsquakes and probe the geological heart of the planet.

NASA’s InSight spacecraft just landed on Mars — and the mission has a Central Coast connection.

The craft launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in May and was the facility’s first launch of a mission to another planet, according to NASA.

Hundreds of guests were present for the launch, with one onlooker calling it the “most beautiful launch I’ve ever heard,” Noozhawk reported at the time.

The spacecraft traveled for six months before touching down on Mars just before 3 p.m. Pacific time. The international effort cost $1 billion and was the first time in six years that NASA attempted to land on Mars.

Flight controllers announced that the spacecraft touched down after a perilous supersonic descent through the red Martian skies. Confirmation came via radio signals that took more than eight minutes to cross the nearly 100 million miles between Mars and Earth.

There was no immediate word on whether the lander was in good working order. NASA satellites around Mars will provide updates.

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