Pasadena: NASA’s InSight spacecraft on Monday touched down safely on Mars for a two-year mission to explore the deep interior of the Red Planet.
According to NASA’s online live broadcast report, after a 205-day journey through space, the InSight landed on Mars at approximately 2:54 p.m. EST (19.54 GMT).
InSight being followed by two cube satellites cruised 301,223,981 miles at a speed of 6,200 mph.
According to NASA, InSight will detect geophysical signals deep below the Martian surface, including marsquakes and heat. This apart, the scientists will also be able to track radio signals from the stationary spacecraft, which is based on the wobble in Mars’ rotation.
The basic design of InSight was inherited from the Phoenix spacecraft, which landed on Mars on May 25, 2008. It took about four to five years to design and execute the mission, said an engineer at the mission control.
InSight’s journey of more than 300 million miles was launched on May 5 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.
InSight marks NASA’s first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012 and the first dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars.