Revisiting History: Mars InSight Launch and Landing

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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Mars, the fourth closest planet to our Sun, has so much philosophical influence on our social legends. From ancient myths and archeological finds, the story of Mars has been pieced together slowly but surely, but very hands off until recently. Technological advances from the third planet from the Sun, Earth, have brought Mars up close and personal. First by telescopes, then flybys with cameras, then orbiting and mapping, then landing (and crash landing) on the surface, then exploration, etc. We are developing a new more personal understanding of Mars and its moons: Phobos and Deimos.

Achievement of this space-faring goal was made easier and quicker as Mars traveled close to Earth on August 27, 2003, only 56 million km (about 35 million miles) away, the closest in 60,000 years. Currently Mars swings in and out of closeness to Earth in its bi-yearly orbit, but 2003 is the key date.

Have you noticed that we are in a learning curve regarding Mars and its minions: the god of war, accompanied by fear and panic? Sound familiar? When you get up close and personal to the god of war, what would you expect? Experiences related to Mars up close and personal are world-wide. Look around at our world – the unrest, the violence, and the militant outlook. Mars is strongly affecting our current experiences, and we apparently want more. This time we are not just taking pictures or rambling over the landscape taking samples to study. This time we are going to dig deeply into the surface, embed a heat probe and deploy a seismometer to monitor for Marsquakes! We are still searching for clues to the development of our whole Solar System and Mars has become an object of that study.

I follow the space stuff. It is history in the making and I live near the Space Coast in Florida. On a good day I can actually see the launches high in the sky. I’m the crazy neighbor lady that dashes into the front yard as soon as liftoff is announced. I turn north and there it is… history being made. The neat part about this is that NASA is very obliging and prints detailed flight info to the second, the stuff astrologer’s dreams are made of… timing!

This last week the Mars InSight Lander cozied up to Mars, landing on the surface, ready to do more prodding and digging because we haven’t had enough lessons from previous encounters. Be prepared, we will now learn more about the mythological god of war and his minions. The activity was a Mars landing from a spacecraft launch six months earlier. I get to Revisit History with a current activation!

Launch of Mars InSight was May 5, 2018, 4:05 AM PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc on the central coast of California. We have liftoff! I watched the audio broadcast of the InSight de-orbiting and landing on Mars on Nov 26, 2018, 11:52:59 AM PST, Pasadena, CA. We have landing! I was so excited I cried. What we humans can do when we put our minds and hearts into it is amazing!

Getting a monster rocket off the ground is a monumental task. Putting part of it to sleep to save it for the landing, and flying it for months and millions of miles is monumental. Waking it up and getting it to slow, almost stop and drop onto a specific location on a foreign body without crashing was monumental. Then it proceeded to set itself up for operational mode immediately…  monumental. The NASA ground crew exploded with delight when it landed!

  • The launch chart Ascendant is 28 Pisces 22 with chart co-ruler Neptune 15 Pisces 58 in the twelfth house of behind the scenes activity and co-ruler Jupiter 18 Scorpio 49R in the eighth house of destiny or intensity of commitment to a value, in this case space exploration.
  • There is a huge Capricorn stellium in the tenth/eleventh houses 8:54R to 25:29 – Saturn, Moon, Pluto, Mars, plus the cluster trines the Sun at 14 Taurus 54. That can help mitigate the four-degree chart Sun/Jupiter opposition.

Most of these space shots are a combination of dynamism and luck. The fact that we succeed at all is amazing, and succeed we do! This chart becomes our base.

The landing chart draws your attention to the Midheaven conjunct the three-planet Sagittarius stellium from 4:04 to 7:35 – amazing! It is almost as if you can correlate the few minutes prior to the actual landing with the multiples of timing that HAD to work, or wreckage would ensue. The Midheaven moves one degree in four clock minutes. From arriving, achieving orbit, starting the descent… de-orbiting, jettisoning the unnecessary, deploying the parachute and thrusters to slow, orienting itself for landing, landing, stabilizing itself, then deploying the instruments. NASA referred to that waiting period as “seven minutes of hell” for the earthbound engineers.

Astrologically, I can see twelve minutes of activity that was the final countdown as the Midheaven ticked off its rendezvous with first Jupiter (launch ruler and space-faring success), conjunct Sun (heart of the matter for the mission) then square Mars at 6 Pisces 49 (definitely mechanical and aggressive, but in actual functioning was on hold during the descent: interception), then conjunct Mercury of communication (retrograde and silent during that seven minutes of hell), freed at landing and signal – 7 Sagittarius 35.

  • Be sure to notice there is also a Midheaven square Neptune at 13 Pisces 42 in the landing first house (launch chart co-ruler). This is pending (intercepted), in front of the mission as the science (Neptune) unfolds.

I am not happy with the cardinal grand cross sitting in the landing chart. It is difficult to avoid problems in the current sky’s available charts, but this could be ominous since one co-ruler of the landing chart is involved.

  • Start with the landing Moon 22 Cancer 23 opposite Pluto 19 Capricorn 32 (both joined by the lunar nodes at 28 Cancer/Capricorn 02R; all square the Venus 27 Libra 17/Uranus 29 Aries 17R opposition.

What I know about space science and engineering could get lost in a thimble. But with this grand cross and the Mars/Neptune conjunction intercepted in the first house, there could be trouble out there for the lander. Remember this last year’s massive sandstorm that paralyzed Opportunity rover for so long there was speculation that it was forever? It finally responded and is back in service. It is hard to do repairs when the engineers and the robot are millions of miles apart.

What else is possible with this short-term launch/landing pairing? Secondary progressions won’t tell us much but could give us something to practice on. Might give us some timing as to the Midheaven squaring the Mars/Neptune pair… or the Ascendant conjoining that same pairing.

But those activations are in the future and this article is about the launch and landing. Since the landing co-ruler Saturn is sextile that pair, it might mitigate some problems. My reasoning? The landing co-ruler (Saturn) is sextile (opportunity) to the launch co-ruler (Neptune). Sextiles to me are half the luck of a trine, with the rest made up of personal effort. Sometimes trines are lazy so the sextiles can give possibilities for success that involve more personal effort.

I set the launch diurnal for the day of the landing. Yes, this duplicates the landing but not quite. It provides three additional, useful points: the launch personal Midheaven and Ascendant for the landing, and the personal Moon could add to our picture. Look at that!

  • The diurnal Midheaven 19 Cancer 25 is opposed that landing Pluto within 6 minutes.
  • The diurnal Moon at 17 Cancer 06 squares the Ascendant 17 Libra 34 (2.5 degrees from the square to the diurnal Midheaven/ landing Pluto). 

Remember this launch, flight and landing was fraught with the usual space mission intense danger from beginning to landing, hard aspects would not be unusual.

Looking at the natal using those three new pieces to our puzzle:

  • The diurnal Moon is a half-degree past opposition to launch Moon.
  • The diurnal Midheaven is square launch Mercury within one degree.
  • The diurnal Ascendant is opposed launch Mercury within one degree.

Look at how the numbers from three charts match up, not just here on Earth but multiple millions of miles out in space.

One more note! As I was comparing landing to launch, I realized something curious:

  • Launch Saturn 8 Capricorn 54R         Landing Saturn 7:23
  • Launch Uranus 29 Aries 27                Landing Uranus 29:17R
  • Launch Neptune 15 Pisces 58             Landing Neptune 13:42
  • Launch Pluto 21 Capricorn 15R         Landing Pluto 19:32

The outer slower moving planets are in earlier degrees for the landing than they were in for the launch. ??? I’m sure I have encountered this before but never paid attention. But this is four out of four, not just an isolated incidence. When I researched comas I found an aspect from a future death chart that cast backwards into the physical calamity that caused the coma. I was stunned to see the future influencing the past… only one example but very striking. The discovery here falls into that reasoning category for me… and no, I don’t know what it means, but it does give you pause for thought. Astrologers are never done learning!

Look at these numbers, from separate incidences or techniques for casting, for millions of miles, out in space, way outside any control function we have, and still they are amazingly accurate. And they say this stuff doesn’t work!

References:, Science and Astronomy, 1 Month to Mars! InSight Lander Nearing Red Planet Touchdown, Oct 2018

Published in AFA Today’s Astrologer Feb 2019 vol 81#2, republished with slight editing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.