NASA's latest Mars craft lands for unprecedented seismic mission
By Steve Gorman PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - NASA's Mars lander InSight touched down safely on the surface of the Red Planet on Monday to begin its two-year mission as the first spacecraft designed to explore the deep interior of another world.
By Steve Gorman
PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - NASA's Mars lander InSight touched down safely on the surface of the Red Planet on Monday to begin its two-year mission as the first spacecraft designed to explore the deep interior of another world.
Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles said the successful landing was confirmed by signals relayed to Earth from one of two miniature satellites that were launched along with InSight and flying past Mars when it arrived shortly before 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT)
Members of the mission control team burst into applause and cheered in relief as they received data showing that the spacecraft had survived its perilous descent to the Martian surface.
The landing capped a six-month journey of 301 million miles (548 million km) from Earth, following its launch from California in May.
Carrying instruments that detect planetary heat and seismic rumblings never measured anywhere else but Earth, the stationary lander streaked into the thin Martian atmosphere at 12,300 miles (19,795 km) per hour.
Its 77-mile descent was then slowed by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute and retro rockets, bringing the three-legged spacecraft to a gentle landing 6 1/2 minutes later. InSight came to rest as planned in the middle of a vast, barren plain called the Elysium Planitia, close to the planet's equator.
InSight will spend 24 months - about one Martian year - taking seismic and temperature readings to unlock mysteries about how Mars formed and, by extension, the origins of the Earth and other rocky planets of the inner solar system.
The stationary probe is programmed to pause for 16 minutes for the dust to settle, literally, around its landing site, before disc-shaped solar panels are unfurled like wings to provide power to the spacecraft.
Minutes after the landing, JPL controllers received a fuzzy photograph of the probe's new surroundings on Martian soil.
The 880-pound (360 kg) InSight - its name is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - marks the 21st U.S.-launched Mars mission, dating back to the Mariner fly-bys of the 1960s. Nearly two dozen other Mars missions have been sent from other nations.
(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Pasadena; Additional reporting by Pavithra George in Pasadena; Editing by Michael Perry and Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply
By Siddharth Cavale and Nivedita Balu (Reuters) - Packaged food giants including Kraft Heinz, General Mills and Kellogg are pushing sales of their products to consumers directly via their own online channels, in a quest to gather more data about shoppers' purchasing habits. Velveeta-cheese maker Kraft Heinz saw its e-commerce sales double in 2020, now representing more than 5% of its global sales, Chief Executive Miguel Patricio said at the virtual Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference this week. The company sells Heinz baked beans and tomato soup by subscription or in bundles directly to consumers on a "Heinz To Home" website in the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe
By Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government issued interim guidance on Thursday sharply limiting who can be arrested and deported by immigration agents, a move that comes as the Biden administration faces growing pressure from activists to scale back deportations
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli woman was being repatriated early on Friday with Russian help after having crossed into Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. On Wednesday, Syrian state media said Russia was mediating a swap whereby Israel would release two jailed Syrians in exchange for the Israeli citizen