InSight Landing on Mars
Woohoo! My friends, here is a celebratory space craft for the successful landing of the InSight Spacecraft on Mars today!
InSight is a geophysics mission that will study Mar’s interior using a seismometer as well as a heat probe it will deploy after digging down several meters into the soil. Watching a landing (like watching a launch) is an incredibly emotional thing! Hundreds of scientists, engineers, operation folks, administrators, outreach coordinators and tons of support staff work for years to bring a mission to fruition, and its success or failure comes down to those key moments where we must safely deliver it to space and/or another planet’s surface. I was not at JPL for the landing, they told those of us not directly involved in the mission to stay home, but I watched online with the rest of the world. We watched and waited as we got signals that the spacecraft had achieved certain stages of the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) process. Since the signal delay from Earth to Mars is about 8 minutes, every signal we get is actually from the past- it wasn’t until we got a picture and a “phone call” from the spacecraft indicating it was safe at the surface did we know the landing was successful. Here is the first picture it sent back to us! The cover is still over the camera, but it wanted to tell us it had made it ok:
At any rate, I always feel inspired to craft about momentous space events, so I got to working during the landing! I just bought my first embroidery machine, and I am very excited about. What could be a better first project than the InSight logo? I’m not on the InSight team, but I have friends who are. I’m sure I can find someone to give it to : )
I kind of messed up part of the embroider, but much like in science, learning to work with a new robot is a learning process. And hey, I recovered it mostly ok! I’ll write up a whole post about the embroidery machine and process soon, but for now I’ll leave you with this imperfect but very heartful space craft. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing science that will come out of the InSight mission! Congrats to everyone involved on a flawless landing, and cheers to the exciting road ahead of you!