The mechanical three-legged, one-armed mining spacecraft InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) landed as planned just before 3 p.m. ET, capping off a trip that started seven months and more than 300 million miles ago. It will be the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars as well as investigate if there are “Marsquakes,” before NASA prepares to send human explorers. “It’s taken more than a decade to bring InSight from a concept to a spacecraft approaching Mars — and even longer since I was first inspired to try to undertake this kind of mission,” said Bruce Banerdt of Jet Propulsion Lab.
Mission control reaction after landing
„But InSight is more than a Mars mission – it is a terrestrial planet explorer that will address one of the most fundamental issues of planetary and solar system science – understanding the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago,” NASA says on its official website. It also explains that Mars was choosed „because Mars has been less geologically active than the Earth (for example, it does not have plate tectonics), it actually retains a more complete record of its history in its own basic planetary building blocks: its core, mantle and crust.”