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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 27 January, 2020

Here are the first photos of Mars from the InSight explorer

A lovely sight this grim morning.

“THERE’S A QUIET beauty here.”

Who knew that robots could be so poetic?

That was the description of the planet Mars that the Nasa InSight explorer gave early this morning as it beamed back its second image from the red planet.

Its first photo was, mind you, a little dustier:

Yesterday, the $993 million explorer reached its destination, following a seat-of-the-pants touchdown that had Nasa staff nervous it would go the way of its previous 43 abortive landings.

The last time they successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars was in 2012, when the Curiosity Rover set up shop.

Mars InSight’s journey took seven years from design to landing.

Its goal is to listen for quakes and tremors as a way to discover how the Red Planet formed billions of years ago and, by extension, how other rocky planets like Earth took shape. 

But along the way, it will be keeping in touch with us mere mortals through Twitter.

Nothing like being reminded of the amazing universe around us on a grim November morning like this.

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