Touchdown! NASA’s latest space probe has safely landed on Mars. As the probe readies to deliver new information about the planet, here’s 5 things to know.
After a seven month journey traveling through space, NASA’s InSight mission has landed on Mars. What does this mean for those of us back here on earth? Well, we’re about to learn a whole lot more about the fourth planet from the sun! The safe landing of the probe is a rarity, nearly every Mars missile touchdown in the past has failed. As the world celebrates the safe landing of the InSight mission, here’s 5 things to know about the journey ahead.
1. It’s been 6 years since NASA last safely landed a space probe on Mars.
There’s a reason so many are celebrating InSight Mission’s touchdown on Mars! We haven’t seen NASA successfully land a probe on Mars since 2012, with the Curiosity rover.
2.There’s a major difference between this mission and missions of the past.
The InSight probe will stay stationary during it’s time on Mars, unlike other probes which were mobile. InSight will spend two years investigating the interior where the building blocks below the planet’s surface that recorded its history. “We’ve studied Mars from orbit and from the surface since 1965, learning about its weather, atmosphere, geology and surface chemistry,” said Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, according to CNN. “Now we finally will explore inside Mars and deepen our understanding of our terrestrial neighbor as NASA prepares to send human explorers deeper into the solar system.”
3. This NASA’s ninth attempt to land at Mars since the 1976 Viking probes.
It’s been a long road to discovering more information about Mars. Aside from one All but one of the previous U.S. touchdowns were successful up until now.
4. InSight survived quite the journey.
InSight’s science mission won’t begin right away. It will take between two to three months for the robotic arm to implement the mission’s instruments on the planet’s surface. Until then, scientists will monitor what can be seen from the lander’s perspective.