It will be the first spacecraft in the history of planetary exploration with the ability to accurately retarget its point of touchdown during the landing sequence
-- technology that could prove essential to future crewed missions to the Moon and Mars, according to the JPL.
The unmanned robotic lander suffered periodic engine and communications failures during the landing sequence
, which lasted around 21 minutes, the support team said.
26, near Mars' equator on the western side of a flat, smooth expanse of lava called Elysium Planitia, with a signal affirming a completed landing sequence
at approximately noon PST (3 p.m.
Its landing sequence
complete, InSight will get a few weeks' rest after its long journey.
Neither pilot reported that verbal communication was established during the landing sequence
Another key feature of the spacecraft is that it would be equipped with a suite of cameras and a microphone that will be used to capture imagery and sounds of the entry, descent and landing sequence
- something that scientists have never before seen or heard.
Not only did this facility go on to produce the world's first computer animated films during the mid-seventies it also contributed the 3D wire-frame model shown on the navigation monitors in the landing sequence
of the Ridley Scott film 'Alien'--making it the Industrial Light and Magic or Weta computer animation facility of its day.
The landing sequence
appeared dis-jointed, leading some analysts to suspect that that portion of the video showed a smaller model touching down.
Engineers said the tricky landing sequence
, combining a giant parachute with a rocket-pack that lowered the rover to the Martian surface on a tether, allowed for zero margin for error.
Engineers designed Curiosity to begin its 7-minute landing sequence
when it reaches the atmosphere of Mars.
And being able to get that whole landing sequence
to work the way you did is a testimony to your team", he added.