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"Having successfully brought all the data back from InSight during its exciting entry, descent and landing (EDL) sequence - what you see before you is an image taken roughly 4,700 miles from Mars, about 10-15 minutes after EDL itself", explained MarCO chief engineer Andy Klesh.

At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, the successful landing was followed by cheers and applaud by the operators of the spacecraft. NASA TV coverage was also shown on the giant screen in New York's Times Square, where crowds huddled under umbrellas in the rain.

Working with USA companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of theMoon and Mars. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission. The spacecraft is created to drill into Mars' interior.

The heat shield soared to a temperature of about 1,500 Celsius before it was discarded, the three landing legs deployed and the parachute popped out, easing InSight down to the Martian surface.

Bearings made by Timken were used in the Opportunity and Spirit Rovers in 2004, the Curiosity Rover in 2012 and the InSight Lander.

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Like every mission to Mars, InSight would not have been possible without a high level of meticulously planned global coordination involving hundreds of researchers and engineers. With the panels open, the lander is about the size of a 1960s convertible.

The lander survived what scientists referred to as "seven minutes of terror" as it touched down on the red planet. Beginning in 1976 with Viking missions, Lockheed Martin has been at the forefront in the development of eleven Mars-bound spacecraft and has played a significant role in all NASA missions to Mars. Before InSight, only about 40 percent of martian landings were successful, according to a statement. "Mars is hard", Thomas Zurbuchen, Nasa associate administrator for the science mission directorate, said on Sunday.

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

A second instrument, furnished by Germany's space agency, consists of a drill to burrow as much as five metres (16 feet) underground, pulling behind it a rope-like thermal probe to measure heat flowing from inside the planet. Back then, Mars then was much warmer and wetter, and might have been capable of harbouring early life.


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