The lander is on Mars with the intention of gaining further insight into the planet by studying its deep interior.
"Touchdown confirmed", a mission control operator at Nasa said, as pent-up anxiety and excitement surged through the room, and dozens of scientists leapt from their seats to embrace each other.
The initiative falls under the Space Policy Directive-1, signed by US President Donald Trump in December 2017.
"Today, we successfully landed on Mars for the eighth time in human history", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. When the first photograph arrived from the Martian surface, Banfield said the mission finally felt real.
The first clear photo from the ground of Mars taken by NASA's InSight lander was sent back to Earth this week.
France's Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales made the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure instrument, the key element for sensing quakes.
"Everybody was ridiculously happy, relieved and it took a while to sink in", he said.
It will spend the next 24 months - about one Martian year - collecting a wealth of data to unlock mysteries about how Mars formed and, by extension, the origins of the Earth and other rocky planets of the inner solar system. "We know a lot about Mars' surface now, but we know very, very little about the deep inside of Mars", he says.
Next up is NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which is modeled on Curiosity and planned to launch in summer 2021 for a February 2021 landing. "The success of these two unique missions is a tribute to the hundreds of talented engineers and scientists who put their genius and labor into making this a great day".
"I believe - and this is just purely speculation - but just my gut feeling is ... maybe in 20 years, 25 years, we could have people walking on Mars".
A carefully orchestrated sequence - already fully preprogrammed on board the spacecraft - unfolded over the following several minutes, coined "six and a half minutes of terror". The landing itself saw InSight slow from 12,300 miles per hour to just 5 miles per hour before touching down on the surface. Its probe to measure heat flow five meters below Mars' surface was made in Germany and Poland, its weather station in Spain and its laser reflector, which will be used for precision longitude, latitude and altitude measurements, in Italy.
InSight team members jumped for joy after waiting to see if the spacecraft would crash or make a successful landing. DLR provided the HP3 instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland.
The company, which was started over 50 years ago by engineers from Boeing and the Jet Propulsion Lab, built the engines and thrusters that sent InSight to Mars.