Mission accomplished. The NASA InSight probe landed on the surface of Mars on Monday and even sent a first photo of the red planet.
After nearly seven months of interplanetary travel, the NASA InSight spacecraft landed on the surface of Mars on Monday, having survived the passage of the Red Planet’s atmosphere, Nasa confirmed from its Pasadena control center in California.
“Landing confirmed!” announced the controller. NASA engineers and scientists immediately let their joy blossom. A few minutes later, InSight sent its first photo taken from the surface of the planet, a foggy image, probably darkened by the dust cloud created by the impact, but where the horizon is visible.
The information was broadcast in near-live by two CubeSats microsatellites that accompanied InSight during the trip, and served as a relay to the Earth.
All the stages of the descent on Mars took place perfectly, from the entry into the atmosphere to the opening of the parachute, to the deployment of the feet and the landing. In less than seven minutes, the machine has gone from 19,800 km/h to 8 km/h.
The mission aims to understand the composition of the interior of Mars, which will help to understand how the rocky planets were formed, four and a half Billion years ago.
Now remains to know the exact site where InSight landed. Then it will unfold the large solar panels, and in a few months, deposit the scientific instruments directly on the ground of the planet.