In our solar system family, Mars is Earth’s next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia.

The attraction is sure to grow with Monday’s arrival of a NASA lander named InSight.

FILE - This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. This composite photo was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. In our solar system family, Mars is Earth’s next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow on Monday, Nov. 26 with the arrival of a NASA lander named InSight.  (NASA via AP, File)
FILE – This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. This composite photo was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. In our solar system family, Mars is Earth’s next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow on Monday, Nov. 26 with the arrival of a NASA lander named InSight. (NASA via AP, File)

InSight should provide our best look yet at Mars’ deep interior. The probe is equipped with a mechanical mole to tunnel underground to measure internal heat. It also has a seismometer to register quakes, meteorite strikes and anything else that might start the red planet shaking.

Scientists consider Mars a tantalizing time capsule because it retains much of its early history. By studying the preserved heart of Mars, InSight could teach us how our solar system’s rocky planets formed 4 1/2 billion years ago and why they turned out so different.

Source: The Associated Press

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