NASA spacecraft InSight lands on Mars to dig deep

Touchdown: NASA's InSight Lands on Mars (VIDEO)

The lander survived "seven minutes of terror" before it touched down - a period that could have seen the rover destroyed.

The success a pair of cubesats achieved in relaying telemetry from NASA's InSight Mars lander demonstrates that such spacecraft can play increasing roles in future deep space missions, spacecraft designers believe.

"What a relief", said JPL's chief engineer, Rob Manning. We'll be keeping an eye on what happens with InSight from here on out, so stay tuned. "Sometimes things work out in your favour".

In Vancouver, the landing capped off five years of preparation for Johnson and her team.

Scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Oxford who created the instruments will be based at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to assist with the study, including selecting the best spot for the robot arm to place the seismometer.

All of this comes out over the next year or so on Mars.

The plan is to turn on a magnetometer Thursday to measure the planet's magnetic field, Johnson said. He said he doesn't expect to start getting a stream of solid data until late next spring, and it may take the entire mission to really get the goods. "To learn about where and when quakes occur, how big they are, how many there are and where they are".

NASA has increasingly shown an interest in using cubesats and other small satellites for a variety of science missions, initially in Earth science and heliophysics but now also astrophysics and planetary science.

Viewings were held coast to coast at museums, planetariums and libraries, as well as New York's Times Square.

Assuming the heat flow probe deploys successfully, the measurements it makes could transform our understanding not only of how Mars evolved, but also how other rocky planets, like Earth, came to be. The picture was speckled with debris because the dust cover was still on the lander's camera, but the terrain looked smooth and sandy with just one sizable rock visible - pretty much what scientists had hoped for.

Manning said the landing appeared to be flawless. "This is really fantastic". He added: "This never gets old".

Alex Smith injury: Washington Redskins QB suffers HORRIFIC broken leg
The Texans now hold a two-game lead in the AFC South after the Tennessee Titans' 38-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Further complicating things for the Redskins' receiving corps is the season-ending injury to Alex Smith .

Its 125-kilometre descent was then slowed by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute and retro rockets, bringing the three-legged spacecraft to a gentle landing six- and-a-half minutes later. Updates were coming in via radio signals that take more than eight minutes to cross the almost 100 million miles (160 million kilometers) between Mars and Earth.

Congratulations flooded into the space agency following the success, including from Mike Pence, the U.S. vice president, who celebrated the "incredible milestone" of the country's eighth successful landing on Mars. NASA's Curiosity rover, which arrived in 2012, is still on the move on Mars.

Prior to the landing, project officials had hinted they were looking at options for an extended mission for MarCO, but were focused at the time on supporting the InSight landing.

A hard landing: InSight set down on terra firma just before 3 p.m.

To reach Mars, InSight cruised 301,223,981 miles at a top speed of 6,200 miles per hour in space, followed by two cube satellites. During its descent towards the martian surface, the probe first entered Mars' atmosphere 80 miles (129 km) above the surface.

The 880-pound (360 kg) InSight - its name is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - marks the 21st US-launched Mars mission, dating back to the Mariner fly-bys of the 1960s.

This is no rock-collecting expedition.

InSight, a $1 billion worldwide project, includes a German mechanical mole that will burrow down 16 feet (5 meters) to measure Mars' internal heat.

The $1 billion worldwide mission features a German-led mechanical mole that will burrow down 16 feet to measure the planet's internal heat.

Three UK-made seismometer instruments are on board InSight, part of a £4 million UK Space Agency effort to measure seismic waves. No lander has dug deeper on Mars than several inches, and no seismometer has ever worked on the planet.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mexico Will Not Use Military Force to Deal With Influx of Migrants
Nov 27, 2018 - 05:26
An estimated 8,200 migrants from the so-called caravans heading to the US from Central America are now in Mexico, authorities say. Customs and Border Protection helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents on foot watched beyond the wire fence in California.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US asks allies to shun Huawei equipment, WSJ reports
Nov 25, 2018 - 16:46
According to the report, the US government is now requesting from its allies that they stop using Huawei products as well. In August, Australia banned Huawei and ZTE from providing 5G technology there due to national security concerns as well.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Summer signing hugs Klopp in Liverpool FC training session
Nov 25, 2018 - 15:04
Liverpool next return to European duty when they face Paris Saint-Germain in a Champions League crunch clash on Wednesday. On the other side, we had to stay stubborn as well, we had to pass, to be patient but stay lively and accelerate.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top India issues swift condemnation of attack on Chinese consulate in Pakistan
Nov 25, 2018 - 14:04
Two separate terror attacks took place in Pakistan on Friday morning, killing at least 27 people, and wounding over 20 people. Police told Al Jazeera that one of the three attackers have been killed, and that suicide vest and weapons were recovered.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ex-Blues Midfielder Names Hazard as Best Player He's Ever Played With
Nov 25, 2018 - 14:00
Mourinho has said often since arriving at Old Trafford that there were decisions made before his time that he did not agree with. They have been in front at the break in just one game since September 25. "I'm disappointed with the performance".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UCF moves ahead of Ohio State in College Football Playoff rankings
Nov 25, 2018 - 12:00
Clemson faces No. 24 Pittsburgh (7-4) for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship up the road in Charlotte, North Carolina . It's the first time UCF made it into the Top 10 in the ranking , and the first time a non-Power 5 team made the Top 10.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Boca Juniors tear-gassed after bus windows broken
Nov 25, 2018 - 10:00
CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez announced the decision Saturday, 10 minutes before the final was supposed to start. CONMEBOL's medical staff issued a statement declaring that there was no medical reason for the match to be suspended.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Phil Mickelson beats Tiger Woods in The Match to claim $9m prize
Nov 24, 2018 - 08:52
Mickelson though won the next three, which were closest-to-the-pin challenges on par-3 holes, which totaled $600,000. The final hole used the practice green for the tee box and course workers put in a new hole on the 18th green.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dow falls 550 points, dragged down by Target and concerns over retail
Nov 23, 2018 - 12:58
President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina next week. Big technology and internet companies tumbled again Monday, leading to broad losses across the stock market.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Michelle Wolf jabs back at Trump's Twitter attack
Nov 23, 2018 - 12:32
In 2017, Larry Wilmore took the stage and affectionately called the outgoing Obama "my nigga" on live TV. Hours later, Wolf responded , simply writing, "I bet you'd be on my side if I had killed a journalist ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Wizards' Wall fined, subject of trade talks
Nov 23, 2018 - 10:15
They have a few big contracts on the books, headlined by Wall's $170 million extension that kicks in next season. Brooks criticized his team's effort after back-to-back losses to the Nets and Trail Blazers last weekend.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Top Five PlayStation 4 Deals for Black Friday 2018
Nov 23, 2018 - 07:10
Prima Interactive CEO Ian Hepplewhite hopes that these great discounts will get even more people to jump aboard the Xbox train. Online retail giant Amazon has joined in on the early Black Friday craze, with multiple video game deals now live.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ivanka's ridiculous response to email scandal
Nov 23, 2018 - 00:59
Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails on government business using a personal account, The Washington Post reported . When asked about it, Trump said she was unfamiliar with details of the rules, the Post said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top JR Smith doesn't believe Cavaliers' talk of making playoffs
Nov 21, 2018 - 17:04
The JR Smith era in Cleveland has come to an end as the wine and gold have announced that swish will no longer be with the team. With Smith gone, the Cavaliers have just three players - Love, Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye - left from their title team.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Crude Drops 7% as Oil Markets Face "Unprecedented" Uncertainty
Nov 21, 2018 - 15:06
According to recent data, U.S.is producing a record 11 million barrels of crude per day, up 18% since the start of this year. United States crude production has soared nearly 25 per cent this year, to a record 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd).