nasa mars insight landerIn January 2018, workers extended the solar arrays that will power the InSight spacecraft on Mars.NASA

  • NASA’s Mars InSight lander hit the red planet’s surface on Monday afternoon.
  • The robot will scan for Mars quakes, the Martian version of Earthquakes.
  • It will also give scientists a better idea of what the planet has been up to for the past 4.5 billion years.
  • Here’s a rundown of everything the lander can do.

After seven years of development, NASA just put a solar-powered lander on Mars.

The robot is named InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. The 794-pound laboratory hit Martian soil on Monday, after nearly seven months of whizzing through space.

On Mars, InSight will pursue three main goals: taking the planet’s temperature, measuring its size, and monitoring for Mars quakes. Scientists at NASA say this work is kind of like giving the red planet a “checkup.” 

Here’s what the roughly $828 million mission could accomplish.