NASA launches InSight on mission to Mars

NASA sent InSight hurtling into space toward Mars on Saturday, launching the rocket from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California, CNN reported.

It marked the first time a space mission to another planet originated from the West Coast instead of Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

If there are no glitches, the 790-pound probe will land on the Martian surface Nov. 26. It will join five other NASA spacecraft operating on and above the planet’s surface, CNN reported.

Bruce Banerdy, the mission’s lead investigator, told CNN that InSight will provide valuable information to scientists.

"We have mapped the surface of the entire planet in terms of visible features, topography, gravity and magnetic fields," he said. "We have studied the atmosphere, both globally and at the surface. We have roved around the surface at four different places, studying the geology and piecing together the history of the surface. But until now, the vast regions of the planet deeper than a few miles, or so, (have) been almost completely unknown to us.

"InSight will change that with a single stroke."

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