Mars InSight mission: What Nasa's trip to Red Planet aims to discover


It will take weeks for InSight to get started on its primary work, and months to years for the mission to get solid science results about the interior of Mars, but that is the kind of mission that we've signed on to with this lander.

If everything goes to plan today, expect a wealth of new information about the history of our planet in the coming months and years.

26, 2018 shows the first image taken by NASA's InSight lander on the surface of Mars after its landing.

The NASA InSight has officially landed on Mars after a seven month journey through our galaxy.

Congratulations to everyone at NASA for landing a very small robot on a very far away planet and not breaking anything in the process.

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

Minutes later, the first photo of Mars transmitted from the lander arrived, and the room burst into another round of cheers.

InSight will address a fundamental issue of solar system science, not just specific questions about a single planet. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. "This image is really our farewell to InSight, our wish for good luck and our farewell to Mars itself".

Mars has been the graveyard for a multitude of space missions.

This image of the Martian surface was taken after landing on Tuesday
This image of the Martian surface was taken after landing on Monday

Why was Mars chosen for landing?

Mars stopped changing, while Earth continued to evolve.

Squeee, first photo from InSight!

Mars has been the graveyard for a multitude of space missions. "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".

The space agency has revealed in its latest update that the probe has also successfully deployed its solar panels - needed to power the lander - on the Red Planet.

InSight also benefits from not being too picky about where it lands.

"Touchdown confirmed!" a flight controller called out, touching off a celebration that was a complete turnaround from the nail-biting anxiety that gripped the control room as the spacecraft made its six-minute descent. While it is a grainy image, partially blocked by the camera's dust cover, it serves as the first point of reference for the mission team, to bring it all together.

InSight, a $1 billion global project, includes a German mechanical mole that will burrow down 16 feet (5 meters) to measure Mars' internal heat. This was the area in front of the lander.

The friction as Insight traveled through the atmosphere generated intense heat, but the spacecraft's heat shield allowed the lander to withstand temperatures up to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Using its robotic arm, InSight will pluck SEIS from the lander's top deck to place it carefully on the dusty surface.

The InSight seismometer is an upgraded version of the ones geophysicists use here on Earth.

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