NASA’s InSight Spacecraft Lands Successfully on Mars

The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took this picture off the Martian surface on Nov. 26, 2018. Credit: NASA.

NASA has done it again. This time the InSight lander has successfully touched down on Mars and will start what is expected to be a two year mission.

According to NASA the “Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said¬†“today, we successfully landed on Mars for the eighth time in human history. InSight will study the interior of Mars, and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars. This accomplishment represents the ingenuity of America and our international partners and it serves as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our team. The best of NASA is yet to come, and it is coming soon.”

Artist illustration of Mars InSight lander on Mars
Artist illustration of Mars InSight lander on Mars. Credit: NASA.

InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at JPL said “we hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph (19,800 kilometers per hour), and the whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes. During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly — and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did.”

NASA said “InSight will begin to collect science data within the first week after landing, though the teams will focus mainly on preparing to set InSight’s instruments on the Martian ground. At least two days after touchdown, the engineering team will begin to deploy InSight’s 5.9-foot-long (1.8-meter-long) robotic arm so that it can take images of the landscape.”

Shortly after touching down InSight sent back its first image.

NASA Mars InSight spacecraft lands on Mars.
NASA Mars InSight spacecraft lands on Mars. The image shows the front of the lander using its lander-mounted, Instrument Context Camera (ICC). Credit: NASA.
The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took this picture off the Martian surface on Nov. 26, 2018
The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA’s InSight lander, took this picture off the Martian surface on Nov. 26, 2018. Credit: NASA.

How InSight landed on Mars.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 18 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 25 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.