All eyes on Mars as NASA lander touched down

NASA celebrates Mars landing with an epic handshake. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on the touchdown that inspired lots of touching.

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 12:43 AM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 12:59 AM

After scoring a touchdown, NFL players often celebrate in the end zone with elaborate spectacles.

Why should it be any different for NASA engineers?

After the InSight lander's successful touchdown Monday on the surface of Mars, mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, erupted in wild cheers. Then a pair of engineers broke out with an intricate handshake that set the internet on fire.

The engineers -- ID'd only as Brooke and Gene in a tweet from NASA -- ran through an energetic series of hand slaps, followed by air punches, forearm bashes, shimmy shakes, fist pumps and finally a hearty high-five.

The inspiration for this Pro Bowl-worthy handshake came from an NFL game back in September between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. In the game, 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin did the handshake with teammate Kendrick Bourne after scoring a third-quarter TD. (And for good reason. Goodwin was wide open.)

"We knew we were sitting together in the control room, and we thought it would be kind of fun just for the two of us," said Brooke, a Chiefs fan. "We saw something that we liked from a previous game, and we kind of mimicked it."

Gene, a New England Patriots fan, said it just made sense because the two are always ribbing each other about football and "touchdown celebrations are back" in vogue in the NFL.

They started planning the handshake about six weeks ago, studying video of Goodwin's and Bourne's moves and practicing them.

"It's a great touchdown dance," Brooke said.

When they're not perfecting the art of NFL handshakes, Brooke and Gene are entry, descent and landing (EDL) systems engineers. EDL engineers are responsible for getting spacecraft from the top of the atmosphere of a planet to the surface safely.

That was no easy feat with InSight's landing. In less time than it takes to hard-boil an egg, the lander had to slow itself from a speed of 12,300 mph to just 5 mph before gently touching down on the Mars surface. No wonder they call it the "seven minutes of terror."

As for their now-world famous handshake, they're happy with it but aren't convinced it's ready for the pros just yet.

"(Goodwin) did it better than we did it," Gene said.

The good folks of the internet might disagree.

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 85°
Kokomo
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Frankfort
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Delphi
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Monticello
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Logansport
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events