Touchdown triumph for NASA’s Mars probe

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The US space agency: NASA has landed the new robot ‘InSight’ on Mars, after a dramatic seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet.

Confirmation of touchdown came through at 7.53pm GMT.

The ‘InSight’ probe, aims to study the planet’s deep interior, which makes it the only planet – apart from Earth – that has been examined in this way. Scientists want to know how the planet is constructed – from its core to its crust.

InSight is now sitting on a vast, flat plain known as Elysium Planitia, close to the Red Planet’s equator. The first picture of this landscape came back very quickly. The image was taken through the translucent lens-cap of a camera positioned on the underside of the lander. The dust kicked up in the descent obscured much of the scene, but it was still possible to make out a small rock, and the sky on the horizon.

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