Left Menu
Development News Edition

Mars touchdown: Safe landing for NASA's InSight spacecraft

IANS | Los Angeles | Updated: 27-11-2018 03:48 IST | Created: 27-11-2018 03:48 IST
NASAs InSight spacecraft touched down safely on Mars on Monday, kicking off a two-year mission to explore the deep interior of the Red Planet.

NASA's online live broadcast reported InSight touched down on Mars at approximately 2:54 p.m. EST (1954 GMT), after a six-month, 300-million-mile (480-million-km) journey.

The lander plunged through the thin Martian atmosphere at about 2:47 p.m. EST (1947 GMT), heatshield first, and used a supersonic parachute to slow down. Then, it fired its retro rockets to slowly descend to the surface of Mars, and landed on the smooth plains of Elysium Planitia, Xinhua news agency reported.

InSight is being followed to Mars by two mini-spacecraft comprising NASA's Mars Cube One (MarCO), the first deep-space mission for CubeSats, which attempt to relay data from InSight as it enters the planet's atmosphere and lands.

At about 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT), MarCO sent back the first picture of Mars.

InSight will detect geophysical signals deep below the Martian surface, including marsquakes and heat. Scientists will also be able to track radio signals from the stationary spacecraft, which vary based on the wobble in Mars' rotation, according to NASA.

InSight and MarCO flight controllers monitored and cheered for the spacecraft's successful entry, descent and landing from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

It took the InSight team about four to five years to design and execute the mission, said an engineer at the mission control. He said the basic design of InSight was inherited from the Phoenix spacecraft, which landed on Mars on May 25, 2008.

To look deep into Mars, the lander must be at a place where it can stay still and quiet for its entire mission. That's why scientists chose Elysium Planitia as InSight's home, according to NASA.

The red planet is comparatively easy to land on and is less likely to melt equipment than Venus or Mercury, according to NASA.

Launched on May 5, InSight marks NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012 and the first dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars.

InSight cruised 301,223,981 miles at a top speed of 6,200 mph, while being followed by two cube satellites, CNN reported.

"We've studied Mars from orbit and from the surface since 1965, learning about its weather, atmosphere, geology and surface chemistry," Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division in NASA's Science Mission Directorate, was quoted as saying.

"Now we finally will explore inside Mars and deepen our understanding of our terrestrial neighbour as NASA prepares to send human explorers deeper into the solar system."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

5G will be the key driving force for COVID-19 recovery: Here's how?

... ...

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

Videos

Latest News

Coronavirus likely to claim 2,00,000 lives in US by Sept 5

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to claim 2,00,000 lives in the US by September 5, according to a new projection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC on Friday. Four thousand, two hundred to 10,600 new COVID-19 deaths w...

Snooker-A nation still potty for snooker's enduring appeal

Park a snooker table inside Sheffields Crucible Theatre and weird and wonderful things can occur.In 1985, 18 million people across Britain stayed glued to their TV screens past midnight as Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis in the most gripping...

Miel Gibson: Chilean honey vendor in sticky situation with Braveheart star

A pun on the Spanish word for honey and the name of one of the worlds most famous actors has landed a small scale Chilean vendor in a sticky situation.Yohanna Agurto used an image of Mel Gibson from the 1995 movie Braveheart to promote her ...

Hezbollah will respond if Israel behind Beirut blast, says Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that his group would wait for results of an investigation into the Beirut port explosion, but if it turns out to be an act of sabotage by Israel then it would pay an equal price.The le...

Give Feedback