We Have The First Mars Images From NASA’s Insight Probe

Nasa engineer and In Sight project manager Tom Hoffman points to the first image upon a successful landing by the In Sight spacecraft on the planet Mars from the Mission Support area in the Space Flight Operations facility at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laborat

This is going to be tense. Nearly as many missions to Mars have failed as have succeeded.

As it approaches the surface the heat shield will separate and InSight will have to perform a manoeuvre to escape it - or risk it crashing into the lander once it reaches the surface. Having launched on May 5, 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as it enters the atmosphere of Mars, InSight will be traveling at 14,100 miles per hour. They heard when the parachute opened, the radar locked on, and plunged to 600 meters above the surface, then 300 meters - then silence. However, a high-speed crash remains a risk. NASA's contemporary Mars lander has returned the initial extraordinary images of the surface of the red planet, captured at the conclusion of a frantic journey. But, by watching landings with the MarCOs, engineers could make improvements to improve this statistic.

Bringing live coverage from 91 million miles away will not be easy.

There's also a laser reflector fitted to InSight. The lander's sensitive instruments are able to obtain their best measurements in direct contact with the Martian surface.

Camera InSight space Agency NASA gave Mars another shot of the red planet after landing.

Where will InSight land on Mars?

Provided that everything goes correctly, the lander will touch down just north of the planet's equator, Elysium Planitia.

Once InSight successfully landed, NASA's focus shifted to the probe's solar panels. However, dust storms are common in this area.

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The landing went largely as expected. And it touched down exactly where it was supposed to land.

What will InSight do on Mars?

Concentrating on planetary building blocks, InSight has no life-detecting capability. All this for a mere $830 million, less than the cost of one of the U.S. military's almost two dozen B-2 stealth bombers. Instead, InSight's team used MarCO A and B to test the much smaller and cheaper communications technologies provided by CubeSats, which successfully relayed mission-critical data during the entire process and for eight minutes thereafter.

Mars' well-preserved interior provides a snapshot of what Earth may have looked like following its formation 4.5 billion years ago, according to Banerdt. So for a NASA engineer, an elaborate handshake shouldn't be too hard, right?

Because it's been so long since NASA's last Martian landfall - the Curiosity rover in 2012 - Mars mania is gripping not only the space and science communities, but everyday folks.

"An ideal location for our Mars mole would be one that is as sandy as possible and does not contain any rocks", HP3 operations manager Christian Krause said. Throughout the mission, he will also monitor wind and temperature data on the Martian surface.

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