NASA celebrates the landing success of its Mars InSight mission

by | Nov 27, 2018 | exploration, NASA, Satellites, Science, Seradata News

At 2101 GMT on 27 November 2018, via UHF signals converted to X-band signals on two released Mars Cube One (MarCO A and B) data relay spacecraft and via the Deep Space Network on Earth, it was confirmed to NASA engineers, at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, that the Mars InSight mission had landed successfully at 1944 GMT in the Elysium Planitia region of the planet Mars.

After a six-and-a-half-month passage from Earth, the Lockheed Martin-built lander, along with its protective heat shield, had slammed into the Martian atmosphere at a velocity of 5.5 km/s. After surviving temperatures of up to 1500 degrees Celsius during the atmospheric entry, a drogue parachute deployed to further slow the craft.

Animation still showing Mars InSight making planetary entry into the Martian atmosphere. Courtesy: Lockheed Martin


Three minutes later the heat shield was discarded. Two minutes after that, the final part of the descent involved the lander, with its legs deployed, being dropped from the top shell of the capsule to make a powered descent and landing after approximately a minute of descent.

Now safely landed, Mars InSight will carry out a series of scientific tests and observations on the interior of the planet using international hardware. The deployment of these instruments – a seismometer built by the French space agency CNES and a heat flow probe built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) – will take place over the next few months. The lander also has a camera.

The overall Mars Insight mission is valued at US$1 billion including an equivalent to US$180 million being contributed by CNES and DLR.

The two released MarCO relay cubesats have carried on past Mars to fly into a heliocentric orbit.

Animation still showing Mars InSight lander making final powered approach to landing. Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Events on the ISS: Progress MS-20 cargo craft makes a raise then leaves International Space Station

At 1030 GMT on 3 February 2023, the cargo craft Progress MS-20 fired its engines for a 1.4m/s to boost Read more

Amazonas Nexus comsat is launched into a Super-synchronous transfer orbit by Falcon 9

After a few days of weather related delays, a SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 rocket was successfully launched from Cape Read more

Proton-M launches Elektro-L N4 weather sat for Russia

A Proton-M/Block DM-03 launch vehicle was successfully launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan at 0912 GMT on 5 Read more

SSLV failure cause: Violent second stage separation triggered chain of events which prevented SSLV final stage burn to stable orbit

The failure investigation set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into the launch failure of the maiden flight Read more

Starlink Group 5-3 is launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9

At 0758 GMT on 2 February 2023  a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 successfully launched 53 Starlink Gen2 satellites (Group 5-3) Read more

South Korea confirms shift of two missions from Russian launchers; Kompsat 6 goes to Arianespace and CAS500-2 goes back to international market

The South Korean vice-minister for Science, Oh Tae-seog, announced on 1 February 2023 that they had selected an Arianespace Vega Read more

SpaceX launches another batch of Starlinks plus ION-SCV9 delivery spacecraft testing separation system

A Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California at 1615 GMT on 31 Read more

US sanctions SPACETY for supplying radar imagery to Russian Wagner Group in Ukraine

Just as Ukraine's military campaign has been supported by US commercial spacecraft operating firms — with SpaceX and Maxar providing Read more