NASA Control Room Erupts in Celebration Over Successful Spacecraft Touchdown on Mars

Ismael LynchNov 27, 2018

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles said the successful landing was confirmed by signals relayed to Earth from one of two miniature satellites that were launched along with InSight and flying past Mars when it arrived shortly before 3pm EST (4am Singapore time).

Carrying instruments that detect planetary heat and seismic rumblings never measured anywhere else but Earth, the stationary lander streaked into the thin Martian atmosphere at 12,300 miles (19,795 km) per hour.

Settling In InSight's first few days on the Red Planet won't be as eventful as the probe's nerve-wracking descent and landing. Now that scientist have a pretty solid idea of what's happening on top of the planet, attention has turned to inside and this probe will help give NASA the chance to explore how the planet is made up, from the core outwards.

A life-size model of the spaceship Insight, NASA's first robotic lander dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars, is shown at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, U.S. November 26, 2018.

Engineer Kris Bruvold celebrates as the InSight lander touch downs on Mars.

InSight will be landing at Elysium Planitia, called "the biggest parking lot on Mars" by astronomers. Speaking of beneath the surface, InSight will also dig 5 meters down to measure the planet's temperature.

InSight's efforts have the potential to teach us valuable information about the formation of rocky planets in our solar system. "It's such a hard thing, it's such a unsafe thing that there's always a fairly uncomfortably large chance that something could go wrong".

To prove his point, xQc pulled up a clip of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing where Neil Armstrong recites his famous "One small step for man" line and makes fun of the poor sound quality.

InSight will be very different from the Mars missions that have come before it, but it's going to fill a crucial role in humanity's quest to understand how Mars formed and whether it has ever played host to life. No other country has managed to set and operate even a single spacecraft on the dusty surface.

Only 40% of missions sent to the Red Planet by any agency have been successful. Unlike earthquakes, marsquakes are a effect of a cooling and shrinking world, says Hoffman, and hopes are high that there will be many marsquakes for InSight to detect. NASA's Mars 2020 mission, for instance, will collect rocks that will eventually be brought back to Earth and analyzed for evidence of ancient life.

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