A seven-month, 300 million-mile journey across the cosmos resulted in a successful landing on Mars for NASA’s InSight probe on Monday. According to NASA, the probe survived “seven minutes of terror” and reached speeds of 6,200mph before safely touching down.
The purpose of the mission is to explore the interior of the Red Planet, where scientists are hoping to gain a better understanding of Mars before potentially sending human explorers to the Martian surface.
“It’s taken more than a decade to bring InSight from a concept to a spacecraft approaching Mars,” said Bruce Banerdt of JPL, InSight’s principal investigator.
Even after such a perilous journey, InSight is already getting to work. Over the next few months, the probe will begin gearing up for life on Mars by setting the mission’s instruments on the surface, NASA said. After that, it’ll begin sending back important data about the planet’s mysterious interior.
For now, NASA has shared the image you see above, which was snapped via the MarCO CubeSat mission. If all goes according to plan, the InSight mission should last about two years.