AMAZING first selfie from NASA's InSight spacecraft on Mars reveals smooth, rocky terrain.
The snapshots were sent after the scientists waited speechless during the risky "seven minutes of terror" of the spacecraft on the Red Planet.
By examining and mapping the interior of Mars, scientists hope to know why the rocky planets in our solar system have turned out so different and why the Earth has become a haven for life.
Traveling for 301 million miles (548 million km) from Earth, the robot's nearly seven-month journey ended in a dramatic dive when he reached the Red Planet at 7.50 on Monday.
The control of NASA's missions in California exploded with joy after InSight arrived safe and sound.
The last seven minutes were particularly tense as the boat sailed in the subtle Martian atmosphere that did not slow down its friction.
Project manager Tom Hoffman said the spacecraft landed close to the target, but NASA has not yet had final calculations.
He said it was hard to tell from the first picture if there were any trails nearby, but it seemed he had the flat, smooth parking he hoped for.
Because of the distance between the Earth and Mars, it took eight minutes before the confirmation arrived, transmitted by a couple of tiny satellites that were following InSight.
The two satellites not only broadcast good news in real time, but also sent the first snapshot of InSight to Mars just four minutes after landing.
The image was stained with dirt because the dust cover was still on the lander's camera, but the ground around the spacecraft appeared smooth and sandy with only one noticeable rock visible – that was pretty much what scientists had hoped for.
The best pictures are expected in the days to come, after the dust covers have come off.
Rob Manning, chief engineer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, hailed the successful landing as "impeccable". This is what we hoped for and really imagined in our mind. Sometimes things work in your favor. "
It was the eighth successful landing of NASA, in fact, of mankind to Mars since 1976, and the first in six years.
The NASA Curiosity rover, arrived in 2012, is still on the move on Mars.
The administrator Jim Bridenstine, who presided over his first landing of the Red Planet as head of the space agency, said: "What a fantastic day for our country".
Seven hours after the touchdown, the agency reported that InSight's vital solar panels were open and recharged.
In the next "sol" or 24-hour and 39-minute Martian days, flight controllers will also evaluate the integrity of the InSight robotic arm and its scientific instruments.
Three seismometer instruments manufactured in the United Kingdom are on board the spacecraft, part of an effort of 4 million British pounds to measure the "waves" on the planet.
Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK space agency, said: "It is wonderful news that the InSight space probe landed safely on Mars.
"The British scientists and engineers involved in this mission have spent several years of their lives building the seismometer on board and the descent is always a worrying moment.
"We can now look forward to the deployment of the tool and the data that will begin to arrive in the new year to improve our understanding of how the planet was formed."
The robot will be the first probe that will focus exclusively on the understanding of the interior of Mars, from its core to its crust.
A second instrument will dig five meters into the ground of Mars, measuring the temperature of the planet, while a third experiment will determine the way Mars swings on its axis.
The 77-mile InSight descent on the surface has been slowed by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute and retro rockets. When he finally landed 6-1 / 2 minutes later, he was traveling at just 5 mph (8 kmh).
The stationary probe, launched from California in May, stopped for 16 minutes for the dust to settle around the landing site before its disk-shaped solar panels opened up to provide power.
The location on the Elysium Planitia area north of its equator has been described as an ideal spot for its flat, rock-free surface.
It is located about 600 miles (600 km) from the 2012 Mars landing point of Curiosity, the last spacecraft sent to the red planet by NASA.
The smallest 360-pound InSight (360 kg), whose name is the abbreviation of Interior Exploration Using Sismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, marks the 21st Martian exploration launched by the United States, including fly-by missions Mariner of the years & # 60; Nearly two dozen other Mars missions were sent from other countries.
This two-year mission of £ 633 million aims to shed light on how the Red Planet was formed and its deep structure, mapping its core, crust and mantle.
To achieve this, the probe is equipped with powerful sensors and equipment to help collect data.
There are solar panels the size of ping-pong tables and a five-foot robotic arm with fingers clenching.
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LIFE ON MARS
When the Mars of NASA probed the land of InSight and what they hoped to find?
InSight also has a thermometer dubbed "Mole", which digs 16 feet below the Martian surface to take underground temperature readings.
The lander is also equipped with wind and heat sensors, which help manage heat and wind shields – to protect themselves from damage.
Only 40% of the missions on the planet were successful and all were led by the United States.
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