301,223,981 miles later.
The NASA InSight has officially landed on Mars after a seven month journey through our galaxy.
As reported by CNN, InSight, or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, traveled 301,223,981 miles at a top speed of 6,200 mph to reach Mars after launching on May 5, 2018.
The NASA InSight Twitter account shared its first image of Mars after a successful landing.
InSight began the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) procedure when it reached the Martian atmosphere at 2:47pm ET, 80 miles above the planet’s surface.
After entering the atmosphere at 12,300 mph and dealing with heat up to 2,700 degree Fahrenheit, InSight completed its EDL and landed at 2:54pm ET.
InSight landed at Elysium Planitia, the “biggest parking lot on Mars,” and its mission for the next two years will be to explore the inside of Mars and “deepen our understanding of our terrestrial neighbor as NASA prepares to send human explorers deeper into the solar system.”
This mission is a stationary one and after InSight spends the first couple months deploying its instruments on the planet’s surface, it will “take measurements of Mars’ vital signs, like its pulse, temperature and reflexes — which translates to internal activity like seismology and the planet’s wobble as the sun and its moons tug on Mars.”
Over the next two years, we will learn a lot more about Mars and hopefully find answers to such questions as if there are any signs of past life or if Mars currently has any liquid water.
You can learn a lot more at NASA’s InSight Mission page, and keep up to date on all of its incredible discoveries.
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN who loves space and the continuing pursuit of the unknown. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst.