NASA’s first trip to Mars may be a few years off, but that didn’t stop the space agency from embarking on a new mission to the Red Planet in podcast form.
The eight-episode series “On a Mission” launches today, letting subscribers follow along with the InSight lander as it travels hundreds of millions of miles through space in the hopes of landing on Mars on November 26. Once there, the little lander will spread its solar panels, stretch its robotic arms, and stay put. InSight is designed “to study an entire planet from just one spot,” according to NASA, studying marsquakes and Mars’s heat, tracking radio signals, and trying to get to the bottom of the “wobble” in Mars’s rotation, which could be a clue about the state of the planet’s core.
“On a Mission” will track Insight’s journey through interviews with the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While interviews with aerospace engineers and rocket scientists may not sound like the most scintillating podcast, it is a surprisingly captivating story, as the odds of Insight reaching the surface safely are slim, since fewer than half of Mars missions make it.