For the 8th time ever, NASA has landed on Mars (+VIDEO) - aksu360

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For the 8th time ever, NASA has landed on Mars (+VIDEO)

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An illustration of NASA's InSight spacecraft after the deployment of its major instruments Credit: NASA/JPL

NASA’s InSight spacecraft has successfully landed on Mars, completing a journey of nearly 500 million kilometers and starting a mission to study the planet’s interior. The spacecraft's journey lasted nearly 7 months. In case you missed the
lift-off story, read it here.

The Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft touched down on Elysium Planitia near the Martian equator at about 6:52pm. Nigerian time Monday, 26/11/2018 . A few minutes after landing, InSight sent the official "beep" to NASA to signal that it was alive and well, including a photo of the Martian surface where it landed.

Mission Control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory exploded into wild cheers and celebratory applause after the touchdown was confirmed. The landing was watched around the world and in various online channels in Nigeria.

Press the PLAY button to watch:

With the landing, InSight will begin a prime mission scheduled to last 2 years to study the composition and structure of the planet’s interior. The spacecraft is equipped with 2 instruments, a seismometer and a heat flow probe, to carry out those measurements. It will be several months before InSight starts collecting data from those instruments because of the time required to identify the best locations around the lander to place the instruments, and then to install them in those locations.  

It should be noted that only half of the spacecraft that make such trips have survived; this marks only the 8th time NASA has successfully touched down on Mars. 

The mission is set to last for 2 Earth years (a little over 1 Mars year). The information it gathers will help scientists to better understand how Earth and other planets in the solar system were formed. (4.6 billion years ago.)

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