Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Cheers as Mars InSight spacecraft lands on Red Planet

Cheers as Mars InSight spacecraft lands on Red Planet

While we savoured a dusty photo beamed back to Earth shortly after its landing, the spacecraft has sent another photo home, showing us a clearer glimpse of the red planet's surface.

The three-legged InSight spacecraft reached the surface after going from 12,300 miles per hour (19,800 kph) to zero in six minutes flat, using a parachute and braking engines to slow down.

PASADENA, California - NASA's Mars lander InSight touched down safely on the surface of the Red Planet on Monday to begin its two-year mission as the first spacecraft created to explore the deep interior of another world.

The NASA InSight Twitter account shared its first image of Mars after a successful landing.

"Touchdown confirmed!" a flight controller called out just before 3 p.m. EST, setting off jubilation among scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who had waited in white-knuckle suspense for word to reach across 100 million miles (160 million kilometers) of space.

This is only the eighth time that NASA has successfully landed on Mars, and mission control was pretty psyched that the lander made it safely after speeding through the solar system for over six months.

It's been six years since the last NASA mission that put a spacecraft on the surface of Mars.

NASA scientists have seen a lot of evidence that Mars has quakes - known as marsquakes. To cap off the season, they will also be live from JPL as InSight enters the final stages of its journey.

It is expected to remain active on the Red Planet for two years.

Once successfully landed on the surface of Mars.

Space agencies around Europe, including Germany, Spain, Poland and Switzerland, also contributed technology to the mission.

The goal is to have InSight dig 16 feet under the soil to gather more information about the innerworkings of the planet, including its inner temperature and the frequency and strength of earthquakes, per AP.

NASA's InSight lander completed its seven-month interplanetary journey of almost 500 million kilometers in dramatic style on Monday, slamming into the Martian atmosphere at a speed of almost 20,000 kilometers per hour.

InSight (the name is short for "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport") launched toward the Red Planet on May 5.

The CNES provided the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument, and the DLR provided the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instrument, Bridenstine said.

Scientists hope that the roughly $828 million mission will help answer questions about how rocky planets - including Earth, Mars, Venus, and Mercury - formed.

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