We Have The First Mars Images From NASA’s Insight Probe

We Have The First Mars Images From NASA’s Insight Probe

We Have The First Mars Images From NASA’s Insight Probe

This latest successful mission to Mars is a welcome demonstration of the power of human foresight and scientific planning, in the face of the promotion of irrationalism and anti-science prejudice by both the political right and the pseudo-left. I thought as I was coming up this week that I was handling it pretty well, but by a few minutes before landing, I was pretty much a basket case."We land on rockets, so there is software on board that controls the rockets and keeps the balance such that it's upright".

The robotic geologist - created to explore Mars' insides, surface to core - must go from 19,800 km/h to zero in six minutes flat as it pierces the Martian atmosphere, pops out a parachute, fires its descent engines and, hopefully, lands on three legs. Two satellites trailing InSight were the ones responsible for the snapshot.

MarCO-B was flying by Mars with its twin, MarCO-A, to attempt to serve as communications relays for NASA's InSight spacecraft as it landed on Mars. He said the image would be cleaned and the black specks would disappear.

"We hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph (19,800 kilometers per hour), and the whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes", InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at JPL said. The danger was that the spacecraft could burn up in the atmosphere or bounce off it. Now begins a completely new stage of the research Rover, whose main mission and goal is to study the "internals" of Mars - namely, the drilling and analysis of deep rocks.

It's shooting for Elysium Planitia, a plain near the Martian equator that the InSight team hopes is flat enough for a smooth landing.

Museums, planetariums and libraries across the US held viewing parties to watch the events unfold at JPL.

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"It was intense and you could feel the emotion", said Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine, in an interview on Nasa television afterward. Since landing, it has taken two photos and sent them back as postcards to Earth, showing off its new home.

While Earth's tectonics and other forces have erased most evidence of its early history, much of Mars - about one-third the size of Earth - has seemingly remained largely static, creating a geological time machine for scientists, Green 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. Those spacecrafts generally go in a north-south orbit, so when an orbiter is going over InSight, it's also going over Curiosity on the same orbit.

Still, there are no life detectors aboard InSight. That's deeper than any instrument that has ever been to Mars.

The information InSight will gather about Mars applies to more than just the Red Planet.

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