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Have you watched the handshake yet?

An image of Mars taken MarCO-B two days before InSight landed.

NASA invites media to its headquarters in Washington for the announcement of newMoonpartnerships with American companies at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 29.

Right after it landed, Insight sent back a picture.

Bringing live coverage from 91 million miles away will not be easy. The MarCOs are also able to capture unique images as they pass by the Red Planet and some of its moons. "Mars is hard", Thomas Zurbuchen, Nasa associate administrator for the science mission directorate, said on Sunday.

Associate Professor Alan Duffy, research fellow at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology, said that the successful landing was a colossal achievement. Provided that everything goes correctly, the lander will touch down just north of the planet's equator, Elysium Planitia.

The notification confirming the device had deployed its solar panels, crucial to the longevity of the mission, came seven hours after touchdown thanks to the MarCO A and B, briefcase-sized satellites that relayed the mission data during the descent operation. However, dust storms are common in this area.

Speeding faster than a bullet at 19,800km/h, the heat-shielded spacecraft encountered scorching friction as it entered the Mars atmosphere. This, NASA noted, is "enough to power a household blender and plenty to keep its instruments conducting science on the Red Planet".

What will InSight do on Mars?

Still, there are no life detectors aboard InSight.

The 800-pound (360-kilogram) InSight is stationary and will operate from the same spot for the next two years, the duration of a Martian year.

The InSight spacecraft approaches Mars in this artist's concept. Its instruments says the JPL will peer deeper than ever into the Martian subsurface, seeking the signatures of the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner Solar System, more than four billion years ago.

NASA will unveil the names of future partners chosen to send astronauts back to the Moon, for the first time in almost five decades.

Is Curiosity still on Mars?

On Monday, NASA's InSight successfully touched down on the surface of Mars. Why should it be any different for NASA engineers?

Are there any other missions to Mars planned?

Mars 2020 will also look for water, test oxygen-producing tech, and collect data on weather, wind, radiation, and dust.

Lockheed Martin has been an industry partner with NASA and the JPL for more than four decades in the exploration of the surface of Mars.


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