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  of long-gone lakes and river-carved canyons. Scientists hope to solve the mystery of how the Red Planet became the dry, desolate world we know today. InSight can drill up to 16 feet into the planet — deeper than any previous Mars instrument. From there, it can take Mars’s temperature to determine how much heat is still flowing out of the body of the planet.
But before any data can be collected, instruments need to be unpacked from InSight and positioned in direct contact with the planet surface. This process could take up to 3 months, as an operations team on Earth works painstakingly using InSight’s robotic arm to set up equipment, explains Elizabeth Barrett, science system engineer for the mission. While all are eager for what InSight will tell us, engineers know that careful work now will lead to the best scientific observations later!

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