NASA’s InSight Lander blasted off on May 5 on a nearly 90 million-mile journey to Mars.
On Monday, the lander is expected to touch down on the Red Planet.
But it turns out getting there was the easy part.
“There’s a reason engineers call landing on Mars ‘seven minutes of terror,'” Rob Grover, InSight’s entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a NASA post. “We can’t joystick the landing, so we have to rely on the commands we pre-program into the spacecraft. We’ve spent years testing our plans, learning from other Mars landings and studying all the conditions Mars can throw at us. And we’re going to stay vigilant till InSight settles into its home in the Elysium Planitia region.”
NASA explains that InSight will hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph and slow down to 5 mph before its three legs touch down on Martian soil — a deceleration that takes place in just less than seven minutes. – READ MORE