NASA has a new mission to Mars, and it's taking podcast listeners along for the ride.
Launching today, the eight-episode series "On a Mission" follows the InSight lander as it travels hundreds of millions of miles and attempts to land on Mars on Nov. 26. "On a Mission" will be the first JPL podcast to track a mission during flight, through interviews with the InSight team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The first two episodes are available now at NASA, the InSight website, SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts. Episode One lays out the odds of reaching the surface safely - fewer than half of Mars missions make it.
"When things go beautifully it looks easy, but it's really not easy," said Sue Smrekar, deputy principal investigator for the InSight mission. "Any kind of exploration is just not easy or guaranteed - ever."
Narrated by host and science journalist Leslie Mullen and InSight team members, each episode blends humor and captivating storytelling to dig into the journey of the lander and the people who have spent years working on it. New episodes, running between 20 and 30 minutes, will be released weekly as InSight gets closer to Mars. The final episode will cover what happens when the team tries to land InSight on the Red Planet.
If successful, the lander will be the first robotic explorer to study the planet's "inner space" - its crust, mantle and core - in an effort to better understand the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) and rocky exoplanets.
Future seasons of the podcast will focus on different missions and take listeners on new journeys through the universe.
To download and listen to "On a Mission" and other NASA podcasts, visit:
To learn more about InSight, visit:
News Media ContactArielle Samuelson
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.