November 26, 2018 / 7:58 PM / 19 days ago

NASA's Mars InSight probe pierces planet's atmosphere to begin descent

PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - The NASA Mars science probe InSight streaked into the planet’s thin atmosphere on Monday and began its descent to the surface in a make-or-break landing attempt that was expected to end in a touchdown within seven minutes, mission controllers said.

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles said they hoped to have confirmation of a successful touchdown at about 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) to begin a two-year mission as the first spacecraft designed to explore the deep interior of another world.

By Steve Gorman in Pasadena

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