NASA spacecraft will have company all the way to Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — 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.