NASA’s InSight Lander has returned its first picture from Mars via the MarCO CubeSat mission. (NASA)
NASA’s InSight lander touched down at 11:54 Pacific Time and followed a seven-month, 300 million-mile (485 million kilometer) journey from Southern California that started back in May.
InSight will spend the next few hours cleaning its camera lens and unfurling its solar arrays.
Once NASA confirms that the solar arrays have been properly deployed, engineers will spend the next three months preparing the lander’s science instruments to begin collecting data.
The touch down continues NASA’s finesse with Mars landings, and is the fifth successful landing in a row.
Only 40% of missions by any agency sent to pass by, orbit or land on Mars have been successful, and NASA has certainly had some failures, too.
This is by way of saying that any successful mission to Mars is an accomplishment. The European Space Agency, the Indian Space Research Organization and the team of ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos currently have satellites orbiting the planet.
Here is a recent Many Worlds column about the mission:
An artist illustration of the InSight lander on Mars. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using ...