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First pic: All about NASA’s two-year mission to Mars

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It was a cheerful environment as NASA’s InSight touched down safely on the surface of Mars on Monday to begin a two-year mission to explore the red planet’s core.

Some scientists said they “got some goosebumps” watching the coverage.

The team later took to Twitter to share the first picture:

The three-legged robotic lander streaked into the thin Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph and plunged 77 miles to the surface within seven minutes, slowed to a gentle touchdown by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute, and retro rockets, according to media reports.

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

The spacecraft was launched from California in May on its $1bn mission and will spend about one Martian year collecting data to understand how Mars was formed.

Principal investigator Bruce Banerdt added: “Today, we successfully landed on Mars for the eighth time in human history. InSight will study the interior of Mars and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars. This accomplishment represents the ingenuity of America and our international partners, and it serves as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our team. The best of NASA is yet to come, and it is coming soon.”




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