UAF to host Mars lander viewing party

The public is invited to a party at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 26 to watch the NASA InSight lander touch down on Mars.

The event will be held in the Vis Space visualization environment, on the lower floor of the West Ridge Research Building in Room 010. Doors open at 10 a.m., and the lander is scheduled to touch down at approximately 11 a.m. The party will feature NASA television coverage of the landing, which is scheduled to run from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The event will also include discussion about Mars and space exploration by members of the Geophysical Institute, and a Mars trivia contest with prizes.

InSight is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. The mission, which launched on May 5, is designed to study the crust, mantle and core of Mars. Studying Mars’ interior structure can answer key questions about the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars — more than 4 billion years ago, as well as of rocky exoplanets. InSight will also measure current tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars.

The viewing party will be hosted by the Alaska  National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the Geophysical Institute. For more information about the event, contact Tania Clucas at or 907-474-5895. For more information about InSight, visit

Last updated: Nov 30, 2018