NASA is celebrating the successful landing of InSight Lander on Mars. InSight was launched and traveled for around six months to get on the Mars. After the successful landing, the probe did not waste time and clicked the images of Mars and sent it back to the earth.
The images have been sent after scientists waited in white-knuckle suspense during the probe’s risky “seven minutes of terror” landing on the Red Planet.
After the successful landing of InSight, the photo of dust covered view of Martian Soil was sent. This image was taken by the Instrument Context Camera (ICC). It was having a protective lens cap which ensured the protection of the camera during the landing. NASA posted this picture on NASAInSight Twitter Account which is so dramatic and posts things as InSight is posting personally and not a savvy social media team.
This was tweeted by NASAInSight There’s a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home. #MarsLanding
InSight has been grabbing all the attention but two more MarCO CubeSats have accompanied InSight to Mars.
WHY INSIGHT HAS BEEN SENT TO MARS?
NASA is always trying to gather all the information about space and the universe and it is another mission which aims to know how solar system was made and how planets evolved from it in such a diversity that some planets are so hot like Mars and some are so cold and dry like Venus and how Earth became the suitable place to live for humans. NASA’s InSight Lander has traveled around 548 million kilometers and this probe reached to Mars around 7:50 p.m.
It was a heart throbbing moment for the NASA’s Jet Propulsion team who were engineers involved to make the thrusters and the engines which had to slow down the speed of the InSight so that it can land properly and its three legs can sustain the weight of the probe. Those seven minutes of the landing were so crucial as they had no choice other than waiting. They hoped for the best and then when the news erupted that InSight has landed properly then the team members jumped with happiness and gave high-fives to each other.
Tom Hoffman who is the project manager said the spacecraft landed close to the bullseye, but Nasa did not have yet have the final calculations.
He said it was hard to tell from the first photo whether there were any slopes nearby, but it appeared he got the flat, smooth “parking lot” he was hoping for.
However, the picture is having dirt on it as the camera would be covered by dust but the terrain was smooth and sandy allowing us to see a rock. This is exactly what the scientists hoped and wished for. Improvement in the photos is expected in coming days and many secrets would be revealed as per the sources.
Rob Manning, Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s chief engineer, hailed the successful landing as “flawless. This is what we really hoped and imagined in our mind’s eye. Sometimes things work out in your favour.”
The successful landing rate on Mars is about 40% and several rockets, probes are sent from the worldwide Space Agencies in order to find something about Mars but everyone failed. NASA, on the other hand, is having a fair successful rate and bagged in seven successful Mars Landing if we will not consider InSight’s Landing. In fact, NASA’s Curiosty rover which was sent back in 2012 on Mars is still on Mars and revealed many things.
Administrator Jim Bridenstine, presiding over his first landing of the Red Planet as the space agency’s boss, said: “What an amazing day for our country.”
Seven hours after touchdown, the agency reported that InSight’s vital solar panels were open and recharging its batteries.
After one day of Mars which is of 24 hours, 39 minutes the flight controllers are going to check the health of InSight lander if all the tools are well or not.
This Lander is going to burrow the Martian surface and then will be checking the temperature of Mars’s Inner surface and measuring the scale of quakes known as marsquakes are happening there. InSight will help the scientists to learn the Mars starting from its core to its crust. Third experiment including which will tell how Mars wobbles on its axis.
Sue Horne, head of space Exploration at the UK Space Agency, said: “It is wonderful news that the InSight spacecraft has landed safely on Mars.
“The UK scientists and engineers involved in this mission have committed several years of their lives to building the seismometer on board and the descent is always a worrying time.
“We can now look forward to the deployment of the instrument and the data that will start to arrive in the new year to improve our understanding of how the planet formed.”
The Landing was so complicated. Project manager Tom Hoffman is seen so happy while showing the first picture which is sent back from Mars to the Earth.
InSight’s 77-mile descent to the surface was slowed by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute and retro rockets. When it finally landed 6-1/2 minutes later, it was travelling at a mere 5 mph (8 kmh). InSight was literally paused for about 16 minutes and waited for the dust to settle down on the Mars surface. The site of landing was chosen to be the Elysium Planitia area which is suitable as it did not have any rocks and have the smooth surface so that no damage occurs.
This two-year £633million mission aims to shine new light on how the Red Planet was formed and its deep structure, by mapping its core, crust and mantle.
To achieve this, the probe is fitted with powerful sensors and equipment to help collect data.
There are solar panels the size of ping-pong tables, and a five-foot robotic arm with grasping fingers.