Touchdown on Mars! Jubilation as NASA’s InSight rover survives ‘six and a half minutes of terror’ landing to begin historic mission to dig deep into the Martian crust
NASA’s $1 billion new Mars lander has successfully arrived to the red planet after a nerve-wracking ‘six and a half minutes of terror,’ when it broke through the Martian atmosphere and was subjected to temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The InSight lander has been traveling through space for seven months, but its long journey ultimately boiled down to a nail-biting few minutes this afternoon as it attempted to plant its feet on the surface.
Its descent started just before 3pm EST (8pm GMT), with helpless scientists waiting on the final word from a pair of Mars orbiters dubbed Wall-E and Eve to confirm touchdown.
Less than eight minutes after breaking through the atmosphere at 12,300 miles per hour, the team confirmed it had successfully made it to the surface, slowing to just 5mph before putting its feet on the ground.
Scientists could be seen jumping and cheering in the control room as they marked the successful landing, with more than a few wiping tears from their eyes.
The newly minted Mars lander even managed to send an image back to Earth moments after setting down – but, it left the dust-covered lens cap on for a blurry first look at its new home.
InSight's touchdown now marks NASA's eighth successful landing on the red planet.
Experts hope the mission will be the first to unlock geological secrets of the planet's hidden core, using a probe to dig 16ft (5m) beneath the surface.
A seismometer containing sensors designed and made at Imperial College in London and tested at Oxford University will also examine the impact of earthquakes and meteorite strikes.
But, the first instrument InSight will be demonstrating is its camera - albeit with the lens cap still on.
‘My first picture on #Mars!’ the InSight account tweeted after landing, alongside a grainy photo of a reddish brown background.
‘My lens cover isn’t off yet, but I just had to show you a first look at my new home.’
While NASA has numerous Mars landings under its belt, similar attempts have proved a difficult hurdle for many missions.
The Soviet Union never managed to land on Mars, and both attempts by the European Space Agency flopped. By contrast, just one of Nasa's previous eight attempts have failed.
The probe, which blasted off from California in May, will rely entirely on its on-board computer to make last-second landing adjustments.
InSight stands to 'revolutionize the way we think about the inside of the planet,' said NASA's science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen.
In a press conference following the landing confirmation, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the InSight team, and revealed even the president and vice president had tuned in.
‘They are overwhelmingly proud of what has gone on here today,’ Bridenstine said.
‘What an amazing day.’
Astronauts aboard the ISS also called in to admit they got goosebumps watching the coverage today, as the world braced itself for the news of the lander's fate.
Despite extensive preparation, Earth's success rate at Mars sits at just 40 percent, including planetary flybys dating back to the early 1960s, as well as orbiters and landers.
'Any time you're trying to land on Mars, it's crazy, frankly. I don't think there's a sane way to do it,' InSight's project manager, Tom Hoffman said ahead of the successful event.
Now, with InSight successfully planted on the red planet, it can soon begin digging to analyze the mysterious world beneath the Martian surface.
‘In the years and the coming months, the history books will be rewritten about the interior of Mars,' Hoffman said during the conference.
The team will now spend the next few days looking for the right spot for InSight to put down its seismometers so it can begin collecting data.
'Now that we’re on the surface of Mars, we have a lot of work to do,' Elizabeth Barrett, InSight Science Instruments Ops, explained during the press conference.
The robot will go through an initial assessment phase to check on its overall health and the health of its instruments before it can move on to the deployment phase.
Then, once its finally time to deploy its suite of instruments, that process alone is expected to take two to three months.
InSight will place its seismometer, and only once the team is happy with its location and initial operations will it return to the deck to get its wind and thermal shields, which will sit atop the seismometer for protection.
The lander will then pick up the heat probe to bring to the surface, before beginning its historic dig.
Eventually, once it's all settled in, Barrett says we'll be 'sitting back listening for Mars quakes.'
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46591.html 译者：Joyceliu
Dolf99, Brno, Czech Republic, about a minute ago
Nobody is going to "space". There is an impenetrable dome above us.
The Voice in my head, Front and Center, United Kingdom, 3 minutes ago
Nice, expensive graphic to show us all what s going on. But what is with the tears and cheering? Its not a wedding.
biddy1161, Solihull, United Kingdom, 4 minutes ago
Undoubtedly a great achievement by mankind but how about doing something about the homeless and destitute of all the countries of this world.
Dolf99, Brno, Czech Republic, 5 minutes ago
Now they're saying they'll go to the moon again by 2030 and Mars by 2040, I guess the CGI isn't believable enough yet. Meanwhile they were supposedly making live telephone calls to the president from the moon's surface in the SIXTIES.
Dolf99, Brno, Czech Republic, 7 minutes ago
It's amazing how nothing ever seems to go wrong from billions of miles away. You've all been deceived and continue to fall for the lies.
Mr Lancs, UK, United Kingdom, 11 minutes ago
What motivates people to willfully disbelieve incredible human achievements like this? Is it simply that if they don't understand something, it's easier to deny it exists? Are they so fearful of being fooled they disbelieve everything on principal? Or is it that exploring other worlds and the possibility of life there challenges their religious beliefs?
the_young_greek, Athens, Greece, 11 minutes ago
I still can't believe that there are people out there who think the moon landing was fake!
Waterloo1815, london, 12 minutes ago
It's truly astounding how many sheep, sorry people still think that man landed on the moon in a kitchen foiled lunar module.
Dar1, Southend, United Kingdom, 15 minutes ago
I have been worried for weeks that this probe sent to Mars would land safely. After spending over one billion dollars getting it there I believe the person authorising this probe should look at sending one to uranus. A total waste of time and money better spent of the homeless of the USA.
Jagstar69, London, United Kingdom, 27 minutes ago
I looked it up Russia sent 3 in the 70's but failed for various reason, U.K. lost one so did European space agency so only NASA has mangled this but thank you all for replying
GsxrinFrance, Antibes, France, 28 minutes ago
Every time I read about a probe landing on another planet I can't help thinking about Gil Scott Heron's "Whiteys on the moon" If you've not heard it, look it up....so true in so many respects
JS, Somerset, United Kingdom, 13 minutes ago
I'm sorry you have such a problem with people of other colours to your own, but the probe is metallic silver, not white.
upshitcreeknopaddle, Sydney, Australia, 29 minutes ago
Faked, just like the moon landing.
Katie X, Bay area, United States, 51 minutes ago
What lame experiments to conduct on Mars.
geezabrekman, Hamburger Hill, Vietnam, 34 minutes ago
They don't half like boring into rocks, I thought they already knew what Mars consists of.
Sam, London, United Kingdom, 57 minutes ago
Have America declared land rights? That's usually what they do.
Rise-up, Manchester, United Kingdom, 58 minutes ago
If NASA's says the moon is made of cheese guess what the gullible ones will say. Yaaaay !
corbynIsRacist, Hull, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
Totally Fake the Money is stolen any pictures you see are filmed on earth . FAKE
signsandwonders, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
Like the Live ISS pics that mysteriously cut and display a Grey screen when something strange appears in the picture. This will be the last Live stream.
George 8th, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
Amazing technology. We could have 39 of these with the money we are giving to the EU.
Norfolkmanchild, Norwich, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
Meanwhile thousands die everyday from hunger, thirst and treatable diseases...
ann curtis, Labcashire, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
The atmosphere on mars is a hundred per cent thinner than on earth. Its made up of carbon dioxide. The planets are lined up for a reason and should be left alone. Concentrate on what can be done here for the good.
lomoto, Derby, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
And how exactly does all this trillions of dollars affect the average working guy?..let me tell you not one bit, I would sooner the money been spent on hospitals and medical advancements
Chiara, Schwarzenberg, Austria, 2 hours ago
So we're exploring Mars now (apparently). Haven't we got enough s#*t to deal with on this planet? How many homeless and starving people could have been helped with the money invested in this? Crazy world...
littlejoe, not over there, Switzerland, 1 hour ago
using your logic , we would still have the technical standard of the 1800s as there will always be homeless and starving people.
rb001, brisbane, Australia, 2 hours ago
Hard to believe how half the planet has evolved in outlook and technology and continues to move forward and the other half are trapped in biblical times.
Buccaneer10, Wales, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
Actually the other half are mostly trapped in the mindset of a 7th century brigand.
toshia, ADBASTON , United Kingdom, 2 hours ago
How many centimetres is deep? And how much as it cost for said centimetre
Varejo73, Sacramento, United States, 2 hours ago
Why do they want to land on Mars again? I find it interesting, but I'm wondering what the purpose is.
Thaitim, Pattaya, Thailand, 2 hours ago
This purpose of this mission is to study the underground activity. For example. does it have earthquakes? It's just another step towards the ultimate goal of Mars colo.nisation. We've got to know what we're in for when we do go, the more we know the more chance thr first mission has of being succesful. NASA won't be the first on Mars though, the first manned mission will be funded by private investors. Once it's achieved the revenue it will eventually generate is hard to fathom. We're talking quadrillions.
The Reactionary, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, 2 hours ago
We're always being told how thin the martian atmosphere is - except when they try to land through it...
jamo721, seattle, United States, 2 hours ago
How do we no for certain this is mars?? Could be anywhere in Arizona , Nevada or New Mexico