PASADENA, Calif. – When NASA's InSight lander crossed the front line on its march to Mars, applause, tears, cuddles and handshakes marked the success of the landing.
But did you see the touch dance? Blink your eyes and you may miss it in video replay. This dancing clapping hands, bangs the fist, screams loudly? Yes, it happened. And it is adorable!
"It's actually a celebration of the touchdown," said Gene Bonfiglio, one of NASA's two entry, descent and landing systems engineers who captured our hearts with the D-Day dance on Mars. . He raised his hands in the air like a football referee. "You know, like" Touchdown! " [NASA’s InSight Mars Lander: Full Coverage]
"Like in the NFL," added Brooke Harper, who performed the dance with Bonfiglio. "We thought it was very appropriate to hold a touchdown ceremony for an official landing of the Lander on Mars."
And that was fine. When the signal confirming the safe landing of the Mars InSight lander reached the control center of NASA's mission at the agency's propulsion laboratory, Monday, November 26, Bonfiglio and Harper got are lifted from one of the three long rows of consoles and embarked on their routine.
It was a touchdown dance, so it's not surprising that the engineers were inspired while watching NFL games.
"We are only two football fans," Bonfiglio told Space.com. He is a fan of New England Patriots. Harper Roots for Kansas City Chiefs. "And we have some tough times on this," said Bonfiglio.
Bonfiglio and Harper decided to dance months ago, while InSight was still sailing to Mars. But what kind of dance should they do?
Bonfiglio then watched football fans dance on television. His wife loved it. His son too. And here is the celebration of Mars InSight touchdown.
The two engineers practiced for weeks to help InSight celebrate its big day. And yes, there was some concern about landing from the landing by pre-planning for success.
"We have our little superstitions, like everyone else," Harper said. "For my part, I had some reservations, but I had confidence in our teams and our spaceship, and we succeeded."
And as InSight landed, Bonfiglio and Harper nailed their celebratory dance. The rest, as they say, belongs to history.
You can see great photos of the March InSight landing day here.
NASA's InSight March lander was launched on the Red Planet in May and will spend about two Earth years (about a Martian year) studying the interior of the planet Martian with a series of seismometers, a thermal probe and a Other instruments. Scientists hope this $ 850-million mission will help them better understand the formation of Mars and answer questions about the formation of other rocky and terrestrial planets.