It’s a good day for NASA after is successfully landed its InSight lander on Mars! After seven months of traveling through space, the touchdown marked the first time in six years a NASA spacecraft has landed on the planet. The InSight has spent nearly a decade in development with a total cost of $850 million, touching down just before 3 p.m.
Before landing, InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) had a rough “seven minutes of terror”, but successful sent the official “beep” to NASA to signal that is alive and well, including a photo of the Martian surface when it landed. Experts stated the landing was tricky, slowing down from 12,300 mph to 5 mph before gently landing on the surface. Safe to say Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory cheered loud and celebrate for the success after touch was confirmed.
The InSight will study the interior of Mars and teach valuable science as NASA prepares to send astronauts to the Moon and then Mars. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated the landing serves as a testament to the deviation and preserve of NASA, marking it the eight time in human history to land on Mars.
Exploring the deep interior of Mars, the inSight will spend two years investigating the interior where building blocks below the planet’s surface recorded its history. To reach Mars, the InSight cruised a total of 301,223,981 miles at a speed of 6,200 miles per hour in space, followed by two cube satellites.
The suitcase-size spacecraft, called MarCO, are the first cube satellites to fly into space, sharing data about InSight when it enters the Martian atmosphere for the landing. The InSight will take three months for the robotic arm to place the mission instrument on the surface, allowing scientist to photograph what can be seen for the landers perspective to monitor the environment. Science data is said to be available until March.
Hooray! One step closer to moving to Mars!