NASA marks victory with the successful landing of InSight robot on Mars
A dream can’t become reality through magic; sweat, determination and hard work are the musts. NASA was determined to become successful with this attempt and it happened. On Tuesday morning, NASA’s $933 million InSight, a new robot, touched down Mars safely. The aim was to study the world’s deep interior. It landed on the surface of Mars at 19:53 GMT.
The time period of 7 minutes, when the InSight probe was on its way to the Red Planet and all the communication was cut, was labeled as the ‘7 minutes of terror’ by the team. All the flight controllers and engineers, from the space agency, shouted, cheered and took a sigh of relief after the safe landing was confirmed. Photos and videos were shared on Twitter of the scenes of NASA employees embracing each other, and fist-pumping.
The probe entered the atmosphere quicker than a high-velocity bullet. For its gentle stop, the combination of a heat shield, parachute and rockets helped. After the landing, the main task was to deploy its solar panels in a proper manner. 7 hours after its landing a notification of panel set-up came. It was necessary for it to generate power for the operation of the system and warm equipment in the sub-zero temperature there. After the InSight probe landed on Mars, one of its tasks was to start the digging process of the planet to get its mineral components.
Since the arrival of the Curiosity rover in 2012, this shot marks the first landing on the Red Planet in 6 years. Doctor Sue Smrekar, mission’s deputy leader, said that people might think the successful landing was easy but it was not. He said that this success came decades after false starts and failed missions to explore Mars.
The InSight has settled at a flat plain, known as, Elysium Planitia, that is close to the Red Planet’s equator. The first image taken just after few minutes of landing was via translucent lens cap of a camera placed on the underside of the lander. Though the first picture it took was not much cleaner, the 2nd one was clear.
This mission is different because it is first of its kind to dedicate its investigations for understanding the interiors of the Mars. The scientists want to know that how the world there is constructed – from its core to its crust. The research on this planet will give the scientists a different point of view on how it can be assembled and evolved with time.