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Colorado Fans Gather To Watch 'InSight' Land On Mars

DENVER (CBS4)- A spacecraft built and tested by Lockheed Martin in Colorado landed on the surface of Mars. NASA's InSight mission is the first to make history by becoming the first lander to study the deep interior of Mars.

InSight launched nearly seven months ago from California on a United Launch Alliance spacecraft. The most treacherous part of its journey was being watched my millions around the globe.

rocket launch 3 (credit ula)
Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's InSight Mars lander. (credit: ULA)

Years of hard work and planning by scientists and engineers came down to just seven minutes. That's how long it took the InSight to slow down from 12,000 miles an hour to gently land on the surface of the red planet. NASA called it the "seven minutes of terror" before it successfully landed on Mars.

People of all ages gathered at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to be part of the historic day in space exploration. Parts of InSight were built by Lockheed Martin, the agency will also help control it's mission once on Mars.

NASA InSight Spacecraft Landing
Mars (CNN)

People at the museum were able to meet the experts who worked on the spacecraft. They also talked about what the mission hopes to accomplish, specifically learning more about the soil so that humans may one day be able to visit Mars.

"It's cool and There are so many questions that we don't know yet," said Jude Bowman. "I just hope it lands safely."

NASA Mars InSight Lander 5
NASA Mars InSight Lander (credit: NASA)

"To see it live brings everything to life and seeing the experts talk in the panel,hes just eating it up," said David Bowman. "We've got the lunch packed in the space suit and we're expecting to be here all day. It's been our number one priority for the winter."

"It's exciting to be on the front end of it. Knowing there is so much going on here in space and Mars is exciting for my son and us," said Tess Peterson.

NASA Mars InSight Lander 3
An artist's rendition of the InSight lander operating on the surface of Mars. (credit: NASA)
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