First Photo from NASA InSight lander on Mars (4)

After 6.5 months of travel in space, InSight has made it to Mars and this is the first photo released.

InSight Deploys its Solar Cells, Prepared for Surface Operations on Mars!

At exactly 11:52:29 am PST (2:52:59 pm EST) mission controllers received a signal, via the Mars Cube One (MarCO) satellites, that InSight lander had successfully touched down, on red planet.

Top image, self-portrait taken by the InSight lander.  Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

About a minute later, the lander began the deployment of its solar arrays and start prepping its instruments for research.

First Photo from NASA InSight lander on Mars (3) Credit NASA InSight


InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at JPL, said:

“We hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph (19,800 kilometers per hour), and the whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes. During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly — and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did.”

First Photo from NASA InSight lander on Mars (2)

InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of [NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory], explained:

“Landing was thrilling, but I’m looking forward to the drilling, When the first images come down, our engineering and science teams will hit the ground running, beginning to plan where to deploy our science instruments. Within two or three months, the arm will deploy the mission’s main science instruments, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) and Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instruments.”

First Photo from NASA InSight lander on Mars (1)