NASA's InSight Lander Celebrates 100 Days on Mars by Watching the Sun Set

InSight watched the sun set on its 101st Martian day, or sol — March 10, 2019, here on Earth.
InSight watched the sun set on its 101st Martian day, or sol — March 10, 2019, here on Earth. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA's Mars InSight lander, which touched down in November, celebrated 100 days on Mars by watching the sun set.

The images that make up this animation were taken on March 10. On Mars time, where days are known as sols and last about 40 minutes longer than their terrestrial equivalents, this sunset wrapped up InSight's 101st day at work on the Red Planet.

See more

The photographs were captured by the lander's Instrument Deployment Camera. The camera was vital for the robot's months-long procedure completed in February to lay out its sensitive instruments, which include an ultraprecise seismometer and a self-hammering heat probe.

Related: Mars InSight in Photos: Looking Inside the Red Planet

That heat probe has set off on its journey into the Martian regolith, but it seems to have gotten stuck, according to NASA, which still hopes the instrument will be able to resume digging.

The InSight mission is designed to solve mysteries about the interior of Mars, including its structure and how it formed, which could also shape scientists' understanding of how Earth formed.

And the robot will see plenty more sunsets — the $850 million mission is scheduled to last about two terrestrial years. That works out to more than a full Martian year: 709 sols all told.

Email Meghan Bartels at or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.