On 26 November, NASA’s InSight lander, the abbreviation for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.
“We hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph (19,800 kilometers per hour), and the whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes,” said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly – and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did.”
InSight will operate on the surface for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or sols, until 24 November 2020. The mission objectives of the two small MarCOs which relayed InSight’s telemetry was completed after their Martian flyby.