WINDHOEK - Japie van Zyl and his team breathed a sigh of relief when he informed this reporter they have successfully landed the robotic InSight Mars lander on planet Mars late on Monday night.
Van Zyl who is the Director for Solar system exploration at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is a Namibian.
After landing on Mars, the team will deploy the solar panels on the lander for them to get power.
“Over the next months, we will move the instruments which are mounted on the deck of the rover, which has a robotic arm. The robotic arm will then carry them one by one off the rover and set them on the ground but only when we have taken pictures of the surface of Mars to determine where we will place them,’’ he explained.
The lander is designed to study the interior and sub-surface of Mars.
The main aim of the mission is to enhance scientific knowledge of space, including how earth and the moon are formed.
Before the mission, the Namibian director paid a courtesy call to President Geingob in May, who wished him well before the mission.
The Namibian native was born at Outjo, who received an honours bachelor’s degree cum laude in electronics engineering from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2018-11-28 10:30:21 13 days ago