NASA Just Landed Another Probe On Mars

Years of work at NASA all came down to just a few minutes Monday when the InSight probe arrived at Mars.

NASA Just Landed Another Probe On Mars
NASA / JPL-Caltech

For seven minutes on Monday, a slew of NASA scientists and researchers waited on pins and needles. They were waiting for the InSight lander to touch down on Mars. And it did, setting off celebrations around the control room.

The spacecraft started its more than seven-month journey to the Red Planet on May 5, 2018. 

On Nov. 26, it entered Mars' atmosphere shortly before 3 p.m. ET and started the seven minute landing process, nicknamed the "Seven Minutes of Terror." During that time, everyone monitoring the landing on Earth just had to wait and hope that all the pre-programmed landing codes operated successfully. 

They had reason to be nervous. About 40 percent of missions sent to Mars don't succeed, and the U.S. is the only country to successfully land on the planet. So InSight's touch down is another big accomplishment for NASA. 

The probe's mission is to study the deep interior of Mars, and it's the first craft to do so. That information will give scientists more "InSight" into how rocky planets formed.