NASA Finally Lands On Mars, Spacecraft Travelled 300-Million-Miles In 6 Months
After traveling 300 million miles through the solar system for over 6 months, NASA’s InSight spacecraft successfully descended through the sky of Mars on Monday and touched down safely on the smooth surface of Elysium Planitia at 11:53 a.m. PST.
LIVE NOW: We’re about to have our first #MarsLanding in six years! The landing kicks off a two-year mission for the @NASAInSight spacecraft to study Mars' deep interior. Tune in & watch live coverage now: https://t.co/EeG8qUIvtY
It is understood that that was the end of a journey of more than six months and 300 million miles.
It also means that the two-year mission to study the inside of Mars, which is formally called Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is now on.
Its new home is Elysium Planitia, a still, flat region where it’s set to study seismic waves and heat deep below the surface of the Red Planet for a planned two-year mission. Learn more: https://t.co/fIPATUugFo pic.twitter.com/j0hXTjhV6I
InSight launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in May and, after an uneventful six-month cruise, closed in on Mars over Thanksgiving weekend. That meant engineers spent their holiday finessing the spacecraft’s final approach.
It's #MarsLanding Day! Today, our @NASAInSight spacecraft blazes into the Mars atmosphere at 12,300 mph and slows to just 5 mph in less than 7 min., before gently touching down on the surface. Watch live starting at 2pm ET: https://t.co/ZuxLDtRxxM pic.twitter.com/wPlOZUg0bs
In the months ahead, InSight will begin its study of the Martian underworld, with the aim of helping scientists understand how the planet formed, lessons that could help also shed light on Earth’s origins.
It will listen for tremors — marsquakes — and collect data that will be pieced together in a map of the interior of the red planet.
(NASA) (Instagram) (360nobs)