Australian scientists to help InSight survey Martian geology

NASA engineers celebrated InSight landing with NFL handshake

"It was nearly hard to believe this wasn't written by some Hollywood writer to put the flawless amount of delay in there - so that everybody sat on the edge of their seat".

The landing went largely as expected.

Now, coming back to Earth, scientists burst into cheers once they received signals confirming the Insight's arrival on Mars.

The image was obtained a few minutes after landing InSight on Mars. InSight's primary instrument for studying the Martian interior, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, was developed through the coordinated efforts of engineers in France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

NASA's InSight mission touched down on the surface of Mars on Monday at approximately 3 p.m.

Most spectacular is the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package.

InSight will explore the planet for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or "sols", or until November 24, 2020, according to NASA.

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There's also a laser reflector fitted to InSight.

It can take two to three months for the main instruments to be deployed and put into operation, NASA added.

Banfield, principal research scientist at Cornell and a co-investigator on InSight's science team, waited patiently at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, listening to mission control with other scientists.

The lander, says the JPL, uses the Instrument Deployment Arm (IDA) to place the instruments on the ground.

InSight team members jumped for joy after waiting to see if the spacecraft would crash or make a successful landing. The device's heat shield, parachute and rocket thrusters helped bring the craft to a gentle landing, having entered the Red Planet's atmosphere travelling faster than a speeding bullet back here on Earth, in the first such attempt since 2012.

Meanwhile, InSight will continue to send reports to earth from its weather sensors and magnetometer. Still, this second largest volcanic region on Mars is an ideal place for InSight to land because of the science it is created to perform. They have the potential to both cut mission costs as well as provide a new platform for scientific observations.

How is NASA's InSight powered? Catch InSight extending the solar panels it uses for battery in the GIF below. These are capable of generating around 700 watts of power.

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