Closings & Delays across the Tennessee Valley

Planet Earth working on 3 Mars landers to follow InSight

InSight took this image not long after landing.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — As Mars’ newest resident settles in, Planet Earth is working on three more landers and at least two orbiters to join the scientific Martian brigade.

NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down on Mars on Monday.

InSight —the eighth successful Martian lander — should be wrapping up two years of digging and quake monitoring by the time rovers arrive from the U.S., Europe and China.

NASA’s Mars 2020 will hunt for rocks that might hold evidence of ancient microbial life and stash them in a safe place for return to Earth.

The European-Russian ExoMars also will sniff out possible past life. The Chinese Mars 2020 will feature both an orbiter and lander. The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, aims to send its first spacecraft, an orbiter, to Mars in 2020.