InSight Mission Lands Safely on Mars on This Week @NASA – November 30, 2018


“InSight is now travelling at a velocity
of two thousand meters per second.” Our InSight mission arrives at Mars … Announcing the companies that will help us
get to the Moon … And the space station’s next crew wraps
up prelaunch activities … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! “Touchdown confirmed (applause and cheering)
…” That confirmation at 11:52 a.m. PST on Nov.
26 – that our InSight lander survived the plunge through Mars’ atmosphere and was
safely on the Martian surface, triggered waves of relief and elation from InSight team members
at our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Like past landings on Mars, this one was expected
to be extremely hard and not without peril. So – no surprise that crowds braved the
rain in New York City to watch outside the Nasdaq Stock Market. While inside, the mission was recognized during
the closing bell. Even the crew aboard the International Space
Station paid close attention. When the dust settled, this photo from the
lander showing the surrounding Elysium Planitia region erased any lingering doubt the mission
had indeed stuck a nearly flawless landing. “Today was a great day for the United States
of America. It was also a great day for our international
partners. This was seen all around the world.” “Kudos for pulling that one off and we are
looking forward to the data that comes out of this mission.” InSight will be the first mission to study
the deep interior of Mars – which is expected to help us learn more about how Mars and other
rocky celestial bodies formed – including Earth and our Moon. The mission could teach us valuable science
as we prepare for our next bold endeavor to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars. “The history books will be rewritten about
the interior of Mars. And these first couple of pictures of a place
no human has ever seen before also remind us that in order to do science, we have to
be bold and we have to be explorers.” Also a success – was our Mars Cube One,
or MarCO experimental CubeSats that launched with InSight as a communications technology
demonstration. The first CubeSats sent into deep space, not
only helped relay InSight’s landing signal and surface photo back to Earth – but even
captured an incredible image of Mars as they flew by the Red Planet. With landing complete — the InSight team
will focus mainly on preparing to set the lander’s instruments on the Martian ground. InSight is expected to start collecting science
data within its first week. On Nov. 29, we invited media to our headquarters
in Washington, D.C. for the announcement of new Moon partnerships with U.S. companies. Working with American companies is the next
step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and Mars. “We want multiple providers that are competing
on costs and innovation. So that we as NASA can do more than we’ve
ever been able to do before and advance the human spirt.” Under Space Policy Directive-1, the agency
will lead an innovative and sustainable exploration of the Moon together with commercial and international
partners. At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan,
our Anne McClain and her Expedition 58 crewmates – Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and David
Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency – wrapped up their final week of activities
in preparation for a targeted Dec. 3 launch to the International Space Station. The trio is scheduled for a six-and-a-half-month
mission on the station. That’s what’s up this week @NASA … For more on these and other stories follow
us on the web at nasa.gov/twan

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