CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A NASA spacecraft has landed on Mars to explore the planet's interior.
Flight controllers announced that the spacecraft InSight touched down Monday, after a perilous supersonic descent through the red Martian skies.
Confirmation came via radio signals that took more than eight minutes to cross the nearly 100 million miles (160 million kilometers) between Mars and Earth.
InSight’s view is a flat, smooth expanse called Elysium Planitia, but its workspace is below the surface, where it will study Mars’ deep interior. pic.twitter.com/3EU70jXQJw
— NASA (@NASA) November 26, 2018
There was no immediate word on whether the lander was in good working order. NASA satellites around Mars will provide updates.
It is NASA's eighth successful Mars landing since the 1976 Vikings.
The three-legged, one-armed InSight will operate from the same spot for the next two years. It landed less than 400 miles (600 kilometers) from NASA's Curiosity rover, which until Monday was the youngest working robot in town.
"Landing on Mars is one of the hardest single jobs that people have to do in planetary exploration," said InSight's lead scientist, Bruce Banerdt. "It's such a difficult thing, it's such a dangerous thing that there's always a fairly uncomfortably large chance that something could go wrong."