The Christian Science Monitor

How NASA's latest mission to Mars might dig up truths about Earth

A streak of rocket fire pierced the foggy predawn skies of southern California Saturday, as NASA sent off its latest Mars mission.

The InSight mission is set to rack up a series of “firsts.” It’s already NASA’s first interplanetary launch from the West Coast. It will also be the first time CubeSats will deploy in deep space. And, if the mission is successful, it will be the first time that scientists gather direct data on the interior of another planet and detect quakes on another planet.

Despite all these firsts, the mission marks the 45th time humans have sent robotic envoys to uncover Mars’s secrets (although only about half of those missions are considered a success).

“I think it’s fair to say that our level of understanding of Mars is now only second to Earth

Two paths diverged in a solar systemGroundbreaking InSight

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