This illustration made available by NASA on March 29, 2018 shows the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft flying over Mars with Earth and the sun in the distance. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats - a kind of modular, mini-satellite - flown into deep space. They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

NASA spacecraft will have company all the way to Mars

May 04, 2018 - 12:26 pm

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's next Mars explorer is going to have company all the way to the red planet.

The Mars InSight lander will be trailed by a couple of puny yet groundbreaking sidekicks called WALL-E and EVE. They're named after the characters in the 2008 animated movie.

The satellites are about the size of a briefcase or large cereal box. They will hitch a ride on the Atlas V (five) rocket set to launch early Saturday morning from California with Mars InSight.

It will be the first time these little cube-shaped CubeSats set sail for deep space.

The journey will span 6 1/2 months and 300 million miles.

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