InSight spacecraft sends selfie back to Earth after landing on Mars

NASA engineers celebrated InSight landing with NFL handshake

The first mission to study the deep interior of Mars will generate unprecedented data about its inner structure.

More than half of 43 attempts to reach Mars with rovers, orbiters and probes by space agencies from around the world have failed. Such studies will be conducted for the first time in history.

"NASA's JPL, which has been a pioneer in Mars exploration for decades, partners with both academia and private industry to bring the best expertise and innovation forward to make important exploration missions like InSight a success". This multi-step handshake soon went viral on Twitter.

The three-legged lander streaked into the thin Martian atmosphere at 19,795km/h (12,300mph) and plunged 114km to the surface within seven minutes, slowed to a gentle touchdown by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute and retro rockets. In the next few hours the device needs to open up solar panels.

Tom Hoffman, InSight's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that the InSight team can repose a little untroubled tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are installed and recharging the batteries.




Almost two dozen other Mars missions have been sent from other nations.

By doing this the HFPPP will be able to give unique data about the planet's interior and how it evolved through time.

An artist's conception of the InSight lander on the surface of Mars with its seismometer (left) and heat probe (right) deployed. "Ultimately, this will contribute to the knowledge of how all rocky planets formed". Still, this second largest volcanic region on Mars is an ideal place for InSight to land because of the science it is created to perform. DLR provided the HP3 instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Another experiment will calculate Mars' wobble to reveal the makeup of the planet's core.

For the full deployment of instrument probe in two or three months, and the first image was taken with the camera, which helps to organize the work of scientific instruments.

Because of the distance between Earth and Mars, it took eight minutes for confirmation to arrive, relayed by a pair of tiny satellites that had been trailing InSight throughout the six-month, 482-million-kilometre journey.

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