A six-month-long journey that could shape the future of humanity reached its nail-biting conclusion today.
On May 5th, NASA launched its InSight Mars lander from California's Vanderberg Air Force Base.
On Monday afternoon, following "seven minutes of terror," the craft reached its final destination - Elysium Planitia, a flat plain near the Red Planet's equator - where it will now spend the next two years conducting scientific research focused on the planet's interior.
InSight's efforts have the potential to teach us valuable information about the formation of rocky planets in our solar system. They could also inform our plans to one day visit, and perhaps colonize, the Red Planet.
This is what the landing looked like at NASA's headquarters:
No surprise, then, that the success of the landing set the internet ablaze. Here's what notable experts, organizations, and politicians had to say about InSight's triumphant touchdown.
Gorgeous Sol on Mars! InSight's 1st image!!!!! The dust cover is still on. That's Martian dust Bee-Tee-Dubs! pic.twitter.com/pzCP4MNKeP— Bill Nye (@BillNye) November 26, 2018
Congratulations to @NASA, @LockheedMartin, @ulalaunch, & all who made today's @NASAInSight #MarsLanding possible! This marks the 8th time the US has landed on Mars & the 1st mission to study its deep interior. Incredible milestone! https://t.co/plgJch3Vpc— Vice President Mike Pence Archived (@VP45) November 26, 2018
#MARSLANDING SUCCESS! Go @NASAInSight!! Bravo, congrats to the whole mission team!— Planetary Society (@exploreplanets) November 26, 2018
Touching down on the surface of Mars is one of the most difficult engineering challenges ever attempted, and InSight just succeeded.
There's something in my eye. #MarsLanding— Adam Savage (@donttrythis) November 26, 2018
And here are InSight's first impressions of Mars:
After a ride like that, everything here is so...peaceful. I think I'm gonna like it here. Can't wait to feel the Sun on my solar panels, my next major milestone later today. Read all about it: https://t.co/ED3dqICTwq #MarsLanding— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) November 26, 2018