First pic: All about NASA's two-year mission to Mars

First pic: All about NASA's two-year mission to Mars

This robotic lander is created to study deep interiors of the red planet and is loaded with instruments to detect planetary seismic rumblings.

Cheers and applause erupted at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday as a waist-high unmanned lander, called InSight, touched down on Mars, capping a almost seven-year journey from design to launch to landing.

"This accomplishment represents the ingenuity of America and our global partners, and it serves as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our team", Bridenstine said. They'll never replace the more capable spacecraft NASA is best known for developing. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor responsible for the complete spacecraft system - cruise stage, aeroshell and the lander itself. "We're going to put the instruments on the ground, start taking data and figure out what we're going to learn about Mars". Trump said to the cheering crowd. They just liked the celebration. "But they're low-priced ride-alongs that can allow us to explore in new ways", John Baker, JPL's program manager for small spacecraft said in the statement.

"The thing about marsquakes is that they send waves through the planet, vibrational waves or so-called seismic waves, and as those waves pass through the planet, they get affected by the materials that they travel through".

That was no easy feat with InSight's landing.

The picture was speckled with dirt because the dust cover was still on the lander's camera, but the terrain around the spacecraft looked smooth and sandy with just one sizable rock visible - pretty much what scientists had hoped for.

The first data isn't expected until March.

Using InSight's robotic arm, which has a camera attached, the mission team will be able to take more photographs in the coming days, Nasa has said. The entry, descent, and landing phases will each emit a slightly different radio frequency, enabling engineers to track InSight's progress. NASA's contemporary Mars lander has returned the initial extraordinary images of the surface of the red planet, captured at the conclusion of a frantic journey.

This latest successful mission to Mars is a welcome demonstration of the power of human foresight and scientific planning, in the face of the promotion of irrationalism and anti-science prejudice by both the political right and the pseudo-left.

A number of European partners, including France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES), the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), are supporting the InSight mission.

InSight contains key instruments that were contributed by several European space agencies. Spain's Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) supplied the wind sensors.

The suite of geophysical instruments will take measurements of Mars' internal activity like seismology and the wobble as the sun and its moons tug on the planet.
Back then, Mars then was much warmer and wetter, and might have been capable of harbouring early life.

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