It is the first attempt to reach Mars in six years.
"It's taken more than a decade to bring InSight from a concept to a spacecraft approaching Mars - and even longer since I was first inspired to try to undertake this kind of mission". America isn't good at everything; but we're very, very good at Mars-and that is, and very much ought to be, a source of national uplift. In less time than it takes to hard-boil an egg, InSight slowed from 12,300 miles per hour to 5 miles per hour before it gently landed on the surface of Mars, according to NASA.
This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars.
Despite enormous risks and a near 60% global record of failure, NASA has landed its InSight rover safely on the surface of Mars. With a host of scientific instruments on board, the lander will study the Red Planet's interior, gathering groundbreaking data about Mars' composition and the planet's tectonic activity. The satellite also shot back a quick photo from Mars' surface.
Indeed, by the time word of touchdown came from space just after 3 p.m. EST, InSight was already well settled on the western side of Elysium Planitia, the flat-as-a-parking-lot plain that NASA was aiming for.
To prove his point, xQc pulled up a clip of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing where Neil Armstrong recites his famous "One small step for man" line and makes fun of the poor sound quality.
Museums, planetariums and libraries across the US held viewing parties to watch the events unfold at JPL. The stationary 360-kilogram lander will use its 6 feet robotic arm to place a mechanical mole and seismometer on the ground. "It's such a hard thing, it's such a risky thing that there's always a fairly uncomfortably large chance that something could go wrong". Unlike earthquakes, marsquakes are a outcome of a cooling and shrinking world, says Hoffman, and hopes are high that there will be many marsquakes for InSight to detect. Some hypotheses suggest that there may be reservoirs of water just below the Martian surface, and the value of the heat flow number could help us understand whether these reservoirs are in a life-giving liquid state or are a not-so-life-giving solid ice.
By examining the deepest, darkest interior of Mars scientists hope to create 3D images that could reveal how our solar system's rocky planets formed 4.5 billion years ago and why they turned out so differently.
Mars looms ever larger in America's space future. That will be part of NASA's next mission, the Mars 2020 rover, which will prowl for rocks that might contain evidence of ancient life.