A Landing Day Filled with Tears & Joy
Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, at 2:54 p.m. EST, NASA’s InSight touched down on the surface of Elysium Planitia, Mars, completing a seven-month journey to the Red Planet.
The new Martian spacecraft successfully entered, descended and landed on Mars, bringing relief to JPL engineers who braved the “seven minutes of terror.”
“There’s a reason engineers call landing on Mars ‘seven minutes of terror.’ We can’t joystick the landing, so we have to rely on the commands we pre-program into the spacecraft. We’ve spent years testing our plans, learning from other Mars landings and studying all the conditions Mars can throw at us. And we’re going to stay vigilant till InSight settles into its home in the Elysium Planitia region.”
Rob Grover, team leader for InSight’s Landing.
The tension of InSight decreasing its speed of 12,300 mph to 0 mph within the seven minutes allotted had the engineers and people from around the world anxiously watching.
Fears soon turned to tears of joy as InSight successfully touched down on the “largest parking space on Mars.”
InSight’s entry, descent, and landing could be seen from the Nasdaq tower in Times Square, online, on television as well as from InSight’s twitter account (@NASAInSight), which provided mission updates.
The success of InSight’s landing brought joy to millions around the world as NASA received landing confirmation from its experimental cube satellites (CubeSats).
After InSight becomes acquainted with its new Martian home, it will begin its mission of exploring and studying the “inner space” of Mars’ crust, mantle, and core. Thus, giving the Red Planet its first thorough check up since its formation.
Congratulations to the InSight Mars Lander team!
From the Robinson Family Aerospace Mission