NASA's InSight spacecraft is aiming for a bull's-eye touchdown on Mars around 3 p.m. today, zooming in like an arrow with no turning back, AP's Marcia Dunn reports from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Details: After traveling 6 months and 300 million miles, the robotic geologist must go from 12,300 mph to 0 in 6 minutes flat as it pierces the Martian atmosphere, pops out a parachute, fires its descent engines and, hopefully, lands on three legs.
The intrigue: This is NASA's first attempt to land on Mars in 6 years.
- The U.S. has pulled off 7 successful Mars landings in the past 4 decades, with only 1 failed touchdown.
- "No other country has managed to set and operate a spacecraft on the dusty red surface."
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