NASA’S INSIGHT SPACECRAFT LANDS ON THE RED PLANET
The NASA’s InSight spacecraft built to study the deep interiors of the planet landed safely on Mars on Monday. Traveling 300 million miles after a six months journey and with a six-minute atmosphere descent InSight spacecraft safely touched down.
The Insight aircraft was a two-year mission of NASA. The fight controllers of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California were overjoyed when their mission succeeded. Since 1976, NASA has eight failed attempts and one successful in reaching our neighboring planet. The last Mars landing by NASA was in 2012 with Curiosity rover. It’s an admirable work as the success rate of a safe landing on the Martian planet is just 40% taking into account all the countries attempt.
The last-minute updates through the radio signals were the nail-biting scenario with everyone at their seat edges. The 800-pound Insight spacecraft landed with parachute and braking engines and it nearly took 8 minutes for the radio signal transfer as it had to travel 100 million miles between planets.
The tremendous speed reduction from 12,300 mph to zero in six minutes was the most challenging and risky task. Mars surface landing is not a small feat, it takes the hard effort of many masterminds with really low chance for a successful landing.
This is no normal expedition the actual mission for the Insight spacecraft is borrow 16 feet into the red planet surface and place a mechanical mole and seismometer. This is to check the heat and possible quakes on the planet. There are no life detecting sensors attached to the Insight spacecraft, which opens the opportunity for the next generation of spacecraft to explore.