The NASA InSight spacecraft successfully landed on Mars and sent its first photo


The American probe InSight He landed on Monday in Martian soil and sent his first photo of the surface of the red planet.

After seven years of work and seven months of travel in space, he "dared" and then sent the image that excited the excitement at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory control center in Pasadena, California.

From its entry into the Mars atmosphere to the landing and communication with the module, the controllers and engineers celebrated with hugs and applause, AFP said.

The process was perfect: the activation of the parachute, the unfolding of its legs and the reduction of speed from 19,800 km / h to 8 km / h in just seven minutes.

The first photo was sent by two satellites that accompanied the InSight during his crossing to Mars.

"My first photo in #Marte," wrote NASA in an account created for InSight on Twitter. "The lid of my lens has not yet been removed, but I had to show a first glance at my new home."

It is the first time since 2012 that an artifact has landed on Mars, after NASA's Curiosity vehicle, the only one currently active on the surface of the red planet, did so.

Only the United States managed to put artifacts there, investing in these missions with the goal of preparing a future incursion with human explorers by the 2030s. But more than half of the 43 attempts to bring robots, satellites or others to Mars – executed by space agencies around the world – failed.

The $ 993 million InSight project aims to record earthquakes on the red planet, formed millions of years ago as a rocky planet like Earth, but still a great mystery.

Faster than a bullet

Nothing could go wrong in the "landing", the slightest mistake would have blown the probe into pieces.

NASA made "final touches to the algorithm guiding the spacecraft to the surface" hours before it entered the atmosphere, where the temperature reached 1,500 ° C.

The probe had a heat shield reinforced to tolerate the impact.

Traveled at about 20,000 km / h, three to four times faster than a rifle bullet, and had to reach a rectangular area of ​​about 10 km by 24 km. After having left a point on Earth, 480 million kilometers away, it was "how to score a goal 130,000 miles away," NASA said earlier.

Scientific agenda

After you deploy the solar panels that power your instruments, a very busy work schedule awaits you.

He must listen and examine the interior of Mars to try to unravel the mysteries of its formation, billions of years ago. Knowledge that later would allow to better understand the formation of the Earth, the only rocky planet from which its interior was actually studied.

The InSight is equipped with a French concept seismograph, SIX, that will be placed directly on the Martian soil and will hear its minimum vibrations: meteor shock waves, earth movements, crunches of rock strata, even deep magma movements. …

Another notable instrument of German origin is the HP3, which must excavate between 3 and 5 meters the surface of Mars to take its temperature. The ship's wind sensors are of Spanish design.

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