1. On Monday, NASA’s latest lander, named InSight, successfully reached the surface of Mars. InSight was traveling in space for six and a half months.
2. InSight’s descent to Mars was tumultuous, “performing a complex multistep routine that slowed the lander from more than 12,000 miles per hour to just 5 miles per hour before it hit the ground.” The descent included deploying a parachute, gathering radar measurements, and igniting its thrusters at the proper time.
3. This descent has been coined “seven minutes of terror.”
4. NASA’s two-year mission with InSight is to listen “for Marsquakes to learn about the world’s interior.”
5. More specifically, “InSight will stay very still so that it can measure the tiny wobbles of the planet during Marsquakes, using the sound waves from these events to figure out what the planet’s interior is made of.”
6. This was the eight perfect landing on Mars for NASA.