Once solar panels are deployed, it can begin studying Martian underground

Vid NASA’s InSight lander today successfully fell through the atmosphere of Mars to touchdown in seemingly one piece on the planet's surface.

The probe had to execute dozens of steps perfectly in a short period of time as it descended upon the Martian landscape.

Tom Hoffman, InSight’s project manager, described the journey as “six and a half minutes of terror” during NASA’s live online broadcast of the feat.

A team of engineers, nervously hunched over computer screens, erupted in cheers as they received confirmation that InSight had made it to the alien planet, which is roughly 55 million kilometres or 34 million miles away from Earth.

Landing on the unforgiving dust world is tricky, to say the least, and about two in five of all missions to the Red Planet have failed.

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