Touch Down!

Published: November 27, 2018

By Jim Lichtman
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“Wish you were here!” – tweet from InSight Mars lander, 12:03 PM – 26 Nov 2018


This photo is the first image of Mars taken by NASA’s InSight Mars lander after its successful landing on the plains of Elysium Planitia on Nov. 26, 2018. The dust seen in the image is on a dust cover protecting the camera. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

@NASAInSight sent home its first photo after #MarsLanding: 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,” the rest of the tweet reads.

“The pursuit of excellence,” ethicist Michael Josephson writes, “has an ethical dimension, especially when others rely upon our knowledge, ability or willingness to perform effectively.”

NASA organized a team of talented specialists who worked together for ten years and made the impossible possible.

This is the international team that built her.

Lifting off last May, traveling 300 million miles, InSight reminds us all just what we can achieve despite all obstacles.

This is the team that flew her.

InSight,” the NASA website describes, “short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the ‘inner space’ of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core.”

“The InSight team is comprised of scientists and engineers from multiple disciplines and is a unique collaboration between countries and organizations around the world. The science team includes co-investigators from the U.S., France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.”

“Studying Mars’ interior structure answers key questions about the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets. InSight also measures tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars today.

“This mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program for highly focused science missions that ask critical questions in solar system science.”

All of these individuals – from different disciplines and countries – demonstrated the necessary skill, diligence and perseverance to make this incredible challenge a reality.

We are at our best when we use our finest abilities toward a common goal.

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