NASA’s InSight lander touched down on the Surface of the Mars last month after spending nearly seven months traveling in Space.

Students at COC watched as the probe made contact with the Martian atmosphere and initiated its descent to the surface of the planet. The event was held in the Makers Space Lab located in the Student Center and hosted by Science Professor Teresa Ciardi.

However, the event was just one of many ways that students interested in Space Exploration could get involved according to Professor Ciardi. “We have our own student team here”, she explained, “that designs and builds payloads that fly on NASA platforms”. The team competes against other colleges and universities for space aboard NASA’s High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) which sends student experiments to the edge of space in specially designed high altitude balloons.

The InSight lander was designed to study martian geology and provide clues to the formation of Mars and other rocky planets including the Earth. The mission is notable for being the first interplanetary spacecraft launched from California – taking off from Vendenburg AFB in May of this year.

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