The descent saw InSight slow from 12,300mph to just 5mph. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
After a harrowing descent through the Martian atmosphere, the probe has finally reached its destination.
There was much to celebrate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory today as, following the much maligned '7 minutes of terror', the signal was received to report that InSight had touched down.
While it will be a few hours before we will know if the lander's solar panels have deployed successfully, things are so far looking promising and the probe has survived the riskiest part of the mission.
"Congratulations to @NASA, @LockheedMartin, @ulalaunch, and all who made today's @NASAInSight #MarsLanding possible!" wrote Vice President Mike Pence.
"This marks the 8th time the US has landed on Mars and the 1st mission to study its deep interior. Incredible milestone."
Over the coming months, the $1 billion lander will attempt to learn more about what lies beneath the surface of the Red Planet using an array of instruments including a burrowing temperature sensor and a seismometer designed to detect Marsquakes.
The mission, which is expected to last two Earth years, will ultimately produce a true 3D image of Mars, offering clues as to how the planet (and by extension the Earth) formed billions of years ago.
Source: Independent | Comments (42)