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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

InSight on Mars

InSight on Mars

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, November 26, 2018/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, adventure

                                  First Image from the Mars In-Sight Lander (credit: JPL/CalTech/NASA)

After a "nail-biting" 7 minutes delay, the Mars InSight lander signaled received by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena that it has safely landed on Mars. The gathered scientists, engineers, and other erupted in celebration of the tricky but successful coordinated procedures needed to safely land on Mars. A few moments later, the robotic lander posted its first image from the surface back to JPL from its location near the Martian equator. Before InSight landed, two experimental CubeSats, being carried by the spacecraft, were released to follow and record the descent of the lander and communicate back to Earth in 'real time'. The dual CubeSats worked flawlessly. They have opened the door for many more uses of these small, inexpensive, high-tech sensors and environmental monitoring satellites about the size of a breadbox.


      JPL Celebrations of Mars InSight Landing, 11-26-2018 (credit: JPL/CalTech/NASA)

According to JPL, the InSight mission reached the Red Planet after a nearly 7-month, 300-million-mile journey since being launched from Vandenberg Air Forse base in California. InSight has a 2-year mission to study the Mars interior to learn how all planets with rocky surfaces, the Earth, the Moon, and Mars, were formed. The last few moments of the landing were recorded and viewed live from JPL's mission control room at CalTech. The tension in the room was obvious and felt as well by millions of viewers worldwide who watched the landing.

It will take a couple of months to deploy and test the suite of scientific instruments InSight has installed. The data gathered will fundamentally expand our knowledge of Mars.



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