Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

NASA's InSight spacecraft successfully lands on Mars after six-month journey

NASA's InSight spacecraft successfully lands on Mars after six-month journey

Right after it landed, Insight sent back a picture.

"This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints - we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, worlds beyond".

The solar arrays are key to helping InSight function. These twin Cubesats are the first of their kind to ever travel to another planet, and are already, successfully relaying important data to Earth, connecting us to Mars like never before. On clear days, the panels will provide InSight with between 600 and 700 watts - enough to power the blender on your kitchen counter, NASA said.

Around 200,000 Chinese now have a small piece of themselves on Mars. One of the cameras is on the instrument arm, which puts the equipment on the surface of the planet. The MarCOs are also able to capture unique images as they pass by the Red Planet and some of its moons. And it's capable of hammering a probe into the surface. Creating a 3D model of the surface will help engineers understand where to place instruments and hammer in the probe, called the Mars mole HP3 by those who built it.

Together, these instruments will study geological processes, said Bruce Banerdt, InSight's principal investigator at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

While the information gathered will be interesting in providing a better understanding of Mars, the hope is that it will also clue us in on information about Earth, a similarly rocky planet that nonetheless developed quite differently. NASA says we should expect data back from the experiments around March 2019. Provided that everything goes correctly, the lander will touch down just north of the planet's equator, Elysium Planitia.

MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of the Red Planet on November 26, 2018.

Landing has passed successfully: all system is in order, no complaints, have informed in NASA.

"It is wonderful news that the InSight spacecraft has landed safely on Mars", said Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency.

Where will InSight land on Mars?

And their mission is over.

Galaxy Fans! We're fighting the good fight in star wars dominated by media giants favored by Google Search. "They are a demonstration of potential future capability".

There's still quite a lot that needs to happen before the mission can be considered a success. As MarCO-A flew by Mars, it transmitted signals through the martian atmosphere. That atmosphere causes interference to change the signal when it's received on Earth, a way for scientists to detect how much atmosphere is present and even its composition.

The other camera is used to monitor the area the instruments are placed in.

The MarCO and InSight projects are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

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