Inside InSight – Scientist Helps Choose a Landing Site on Mars

I think exploration itself is a great
motivator to go places we’ve never been before and to learn things that we’ve
never learned before. I’m Ingrid Daubar and I helped find the best parking spot
on the surface of Mars for InSight. This is a really exciting time. InSight is finally on its way to Mars. I feel very honored to be a part of this project. I read a lot of science fiction as a kid so actually going to this place that I read so many
books about is really exciting. Normally we want to go to the most scientifically
interesting place that we can safely land. For InSight, an ideal landing location
is the most flat, boring place on Mars you can imagine. We have a working group called the instrument site selection working group. We have to look at how
many rocks are on the surface and how steeply sloped the area is and investigate
the physical properties of the soil. All of that is so that when the lander gets
on the ground it’s flat and rock-free and we want the instruments to be able
to do the best science they can. Actually dealing with the realities of space exploration is even more exciting than the fictional side of things and the new
science that we’re going to get out of this is going to change our whole view of
Mars and other rocky planets. I’m really excited to be a part of it.

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