What’s the level of excitement we discover on our faces when we get the reward for our hardwork? We want to get everything from that moment and enjoy it to the fullest. The same level of glee could be seen on the faces of NASA engineers and staff sitting anxiously behind computer desks, staring at a screen and then erupting into laughter, tears, hugs, and high fives. These extraordinary cheers were for NASA’s InSight lander, a spacecraft designed to spend the next two years studying Mars, which has successfully parachuted to the surface of the planet.
Adding to this moment of bliss, a snapshot of Mars transmitted from the lander arrived, and the room burst into another round of applause. The photo was marred by hundreds of blurry specs of Martian dust as the lens cover transparent in nature was still on the camera mounted under InSight’s landing deck. However, beyond these cosmetic blemishes, the Mars surface was clear and smooth. Taskin Padir, an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University claims the InSight’s six-month long preparation to reach the red planet just north of Mars’ equator on a large, flat plain known as Elysium Planitia as amazing.
A video feed of the InSight lander’s successful landing on Mars’ surface was seen at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Taskin Padir opined that other landers and rovers may have looked at the geology of Mars, but InSight is the first mission of its kind to investigate the interior composition and structure of the planet. The data from InSight is about to benefit researchers in analysing how Mars was formed. A similar process shaped Earth and the other terrestrial planets more than 4 billion years ago.
Padir quoted, “This is an exciting day for NASA, and for many others in space exploration. I think the future is very bright.”