After seven months travelling through space, NASA’s InSight Lander finally touched down on Mars on Tuesday (NZT).
The “robot geologist” spacecraft landed on the red planet to jubilation in the NASA control room, which was live streamed during the event.
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Avi Loeb, chairman of the Harvard University’s astronomy department, said “everyone was cheering for this mission.”
“Any time we have a chance to go to another planet in the solar system or develop a new space telescope, we are very happy because that provides us with new information about the universe,” he told RadioLIVE.
The plan is for the spacecraft to place a seismometer and heat probe on the Martian ground, tracking the planet's temperature as well as any quakes for the next two years.
“We would like to understand more about [Mars], and this lander will have the instruments that will take some of the heart beats of this planet,” Mr Loeb said.
InSight took off for the 485 million kilometre trip back in May. It is the first robot to land on the red planet since 2012, when the Curiosity rover landed.
Listen to the full interview with Avi Loeb above.
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