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300,000 Mile Trip; InSight Spacecraft Launched From Santa Barbara County Successfully Lands On Mars

(NASA Photo)
First image from InSight spacecraft after it lands on Mars Monday

The six month, 300,000 mile flight of the InSight space probe which started in Santa Barbara County reached a major milestone Monday, when it successfully landed on Mars.

Viewing events around the world included some special ones on the Central and South Coasts because of the local connection.

It was the eighth successful landing on Mars. It also marks the first Mars flight from the West Coast, with the unmanned probe being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base May 5th. The 1500 pound craft is expected to have a two year life span, using onboard instruments to do everything from analyzing soil to detecting the Martian version of earthquakes.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was a part of the mission, helping to prepare two tiny craft known as CubSats which also flew towards mars as a test of the technology, and relayed data back on Insight.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine calls the landing a major milestone, saying we are getting closer to a manned mission to Mars.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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