Mars Landing

December 7, 2018
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED NASA InSight team members celebrate as the spacecraft lands on Mars.
BILL INGALLS—NASA/GETTY IMAGES

NASA’s InSight spacecraft made it to Mars on November 26. The landing ended a 300 million–mile journey that lasted more than six months.

Flight controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California, cheered when InSight touched down. “Flawless,” Rob Manning said. He’s the lab’s chief engineer. “Sometimes, things work out in your favor.”

The 800-pound spacecraft will stay in one spot for the next two years. InSight will study the Red Planet’s interior. One of its tools will dig 16 feet into the ground to measure the planet’s internal heat. Another will listen for quakes.

Scientists will use data collected by InSight to create 3D images of Mars. The images could help them understand how our solar system formed, 4.5 billion years ago.