Updated: February 28, 2021
Spacecraft, InSight, operated by NASA and built by scientists in the United States, France and Germany, has landed successfully on Mars.
InSight landed on Mars just before 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday.
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It is only the eighth time ever that humanity has landed a spacecraft on Mars, a vast, red and expanse planet.
The Washington Post described landing a spacecraft on Mars as one of the toughest tasks in the solar system.
InSight will operate for the next two Earth years and deploy a seismometer, a heat sensor and radio antenna to probe the Red Planet’s interior.
“Scientists hope that InSight will uncover signs of tectonic activity and clues about the planet’s past. Those findings could illuminate how Mars became the desolate desert world we see today,” The Post wrote.
It added: “The interminable stretch from the moment a spacecraft hits the Martian atmosphere to the second it touches down on the Red Planet’s rusty surface is what scientists call “the seven minutes of terror.
“Landing a spacecraft on Mars is as difficult as it sounds. More than half of all missions don’t make it safely to the surface. Because it takes more than eight minutes for light signals to travel 100 million miles to Earth, scientists have no control over the process. All they can do is program the spacecraft with their best technology and wait”.
But InSight made it, triggering applause and jubilation at the mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.