A NASA probe designed to excavate the surface of Mars landed on the Red Planet on Monday, after a 482 million mile (300 million mile) voyage lasting six months, and a dangerous downturn through the pink atmosphere
The drivers of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, got up from their seats and started screaming, applauding, and laughed when they received the news.
"Landing confirmed!", A controller announced.
A photograph sent from the surface of Mars had debris spots in the probe chamber, but it showed a flat surface with few except that no rock, just what the scientists expected. In the next hours and days you will get better pictures.
InSight, three-legged and at a cost of $ 1 billion, came to the surface after decelerating with the help of a parachute and braking engines, the space agency said. The updates arrived through radio signals that took more than eight minutes to cross the near 160 million kilometers (100 million miles) of distance between Mars and the Earth.
It was NASA's ninth attempt to land on Mars since testing the Viking probe in 1976. All but one of the previous landings in the United States were successful.
The last landing of NASA on Mars was in 2012 with the Curiosity probe.
In museums, planetaries and libraries throughout the country, as well as in Times Square in New York, images of the activity within the control room of the NASA laboratory were shown.
The plan for the decline was that the probe stopped abruptly, going from 19,800 kilometers per hour (12,300 miles per hour) to zero in six minutes, while crossing the Martian atmosphere and lying on the surface.
"Landing on Mars is one of the toughest jobs people have to do in planetary exploration," noted InSight's chief scientist, Bruce Banerdt. "It is something so difficult, it is something so dangerous, that there is always the rather uncomfortable possibility that something could go wrong."
Mars has been the cemetery of several space missions.
So far, the success rate of Earth on Mars is 40%, counting all the reconnaissance flights, orbital flights and landings that the United States, Russia and other countries have tried since 1960.
However, the United States has achieved seven successful landings on Mars in the last four decades and, with only one failed one, is an enviable record. No other country has managed to mount and operate a spaceship on the dusty red surface.
InSight was heading to the Eliseo plain, located near the Martian equator.
The 360 kilogram (800 lb) stationary probe will use its robotic arm of 1.8 meters (6 feet) to place a mechanical drill and a seismometer on the surface. The drill will drill 5 meters (16 feet) deep to measure the internal heat of the planet, while the seismometer will detect possible earthquakes.
No probe has dug more than a few centimeters on Mars and no seismometer has worked on the planet.
Germany is in charge of the InSight borer, while France deals with the seismometer.
When examining the interior of Mars, scientists hope to understand how the rocky planets of our solar system were formed 4.5 billion years ago and why they are so different. Mars is cold and dry, Venus and Mercury are very hot and the Earth is viable to bear life.
However, InSight can not detect life. This will be for future probes, such as NASA's Mars mission in 2020, which will collect rocks that will eventually be taken to Earth to analyze them in search of some evidence of ancient life.