Transcript for NASA spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars
Mars. The spacecraft named the insight lander is expected to touch down on the red planet this afternoon. ABC's Clayton Sandell is there at the jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California where scientists are nervous about what they could find today. Hey. Reporter: Right here behind me is a mock-up of that, and they are nervous because getting to Mars is hard, and they are -- more than half of all Mars missions have failed and the problem is that the insight mission will have to survive seven minutes of terror. That's when the lander hits the Mars atmosphere at 13,000 miles an hour, and that is hot enough to melt steel. Everything on board to the heat shield to the parachute to the landing rockets have to work perfectly and automatically in order to slow insight to landing around 5 miles an hour. If it sticks the landing, it will be the first mission to probe deep inside the interior of Mars and hopefully unlocks mysteries about how Mars, the Earth and other solar systems form. When will we see what they see? Will there be pictures? Reporter: There will be pictures hopefully soon. The lander is programmed to take pictures just a few minutes after its lands and they tell us they may be able to get those pictures back to Earth within 10 to 20 minutes after landing. Over to you, robin.
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