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Mars touchdown: NASA spacecraft survives sup …

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Minutes after touching Mars, NASA's InSight Spacecraft sent back a "nice and dirty" snapshot of its new excavations. Still, the image of the cracked image looked like a work of art as a work of art.

The photo revealed a mostly smooth and sandy terrain around a spaceship with only one of the large layers visible.

"I am very happy that it looks like we have an incredibly safe and boring landing place," said project manager Tom Hoffman after a Monday landing. "That's what we wanted."

A better image came a few hours later, and more days are expected in the coming days after the dust coverings come out of ground cameras.

The spacecraft arrived at Mars after a dangerous, supersonic diving through its red sky, which lasted only six minutes.

"Touchdown confirmed!" is driving an airplane just before 3 o'clock EST, which launched a joy between scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, waiting in a thrilling white joint to reach over 160 million kilometers of space.

It was the eighth successful NASA landing on Mars from the Viking probes in 1976 and the first in six years. NASA's Curiosity rover, which arrived in 2012, is still on Mars.

Due to the distance between Earth and Mars, it took eight minutes for a confirmation to be transmitted by the pair of small satellites that ended InSight during a six-month voyage of 482 million kilometers.

"Impeccable," said JPL pilot Rob Manning. "Sometimes it works for you."

InSight, an $ 1 billion international project, includes a German mechanical pier that will exchange 5 meters for measuring indoor heat in Mars. Lander also has a French earthquake seismometer, if it exists on our smaller, geologically quieter neighbor. Another experiment will count on the wave of Mars to reveal the composition of the planet's core.

Late Monday, NASA announced that the spacecraft was open and charged the batteries.

During the next couple of "salt" – or martian days 24 hours, 39.5 minutes – flight controllers will evaluate the health of all important InSight robots and their scientific tools. It will take several months for the instruments to adjust and fine-tune, and lead scientist Bruce Banerdt said he does not expect to receive a solid data flow until late spring.

Banerdt called the first slide of InSight's first surface of science, though "nice and dirty". He said the image would be cleansed and the black spots disappeared. The photo came from the camera on the landing. Late Monday, NASA released a clear photograph taken by a higher camera that showed part of the landing and landscape.

InSight with a capacity of 800 kilograms (360 kilograms) is stationary and will work in the same place for the next two years, the duration of the Martian year.

"In the coming months and years, even historical books will be rewritten inside Mars," said Michael Watkins, director of JPL.

This time, NASA went with its old and straightforward approach using parachute and brake motors to get the InSight speed at 19,800 km / h when it sank Mars, about 77 kilometers (114 kilometers) up at 8 kilometers per hour when touched. The danger was that a spaceship could burn in the atmosphere or bounce.

Many Mars spacecraft launched by the United States, Russia, and other countries have been lost or destroyed over the years, with only 40 percent success without including InSight.

Three-legged InSight settled on the west side of Elysium Planitia, the plane NASA was heading for.

Museums, observatories and libraries in the US have been holding parties watching events on the JPL. NASA's television coverage was also shown on a huge canvas on Times Square in New York, where crowds in the rain were hiding under umbrellas.

"What an amazing day for our country," said Jim Bridenstine, who chaired the first Mars landing as NASA chief.

Mars' well-preserved interior provides a picture of how the Earth could look like 4.5 billion years ago, according to Banerdt. While Earth is seismically active, Mars "has decided to stay on laurels after its creation."

By examining and mapping the interior of Mars, scientists hope to find out why the earth's planets in our solar system have shown so differently, and why the Earth has become a haven for life.

Still, there are no detectors of life onboard the InSight. Another NASA mission, the rover Mars 2020, will go through rocks that could contain evidence of ancient life. The question of whether life existed in the wet, watery past of Mars is what drives NASA back to the fourth rock from the sun.

After InSight's landing, two experimental satellites approached Mars, their major work being done. One took the last photo of the red planet that the chief satellite engineer Andy Klesh had farewell to InSight … with Mars.


For Full AP Mars landing coverage:


The Department of Health and Science, Associated Press, receives support from the Howard Hughes Science Department. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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