Mars landing: NASA engineers celebrate with elaborate handshake inspired by NFL players

It's 2018, so if you get to celebrate a touchdown with an elaborate dance or handshake, you should certainly get to do the same if you help successfully land a spacecraft on another planet.

NASA accomplished the latter sort of touchdown this week when the InSight lander reached the surface of Mars. Upon doing so, a few engineers that helped make it happen took notes from the NFL and celebrated accordingly. 

Immediately after the arrival was announced as a success, two NASA employees in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA turned to each other and delivered some showmanship in the form of a complex handshake. The execution was pretty damn solid.

So, where did the inspiration come from? Look no further than a Week 3 matchup between the Chiefs and 49ers earlier this season. During that game, Kendrick Bourne and Marquise Goodwin teamed up for an intricate and enthusiastic routine in the end zone. It was good enough to earn an 'A-' mark in our weekly celebration grades. Apparently it was also good enough to inspire a couple of NASA pals.

And just like it takes a lot of hard work to land a vehicle on Mars, it also takes a lot of hard work to perfect a celebration. (Jury's still out on which one of those tasks is more difficult.) The NASA duo apparently spent six weeks studying the film and practicing the handshake until they were finally ready to break it out during the InSight landing.

Here they are explaining the process:

Very good stuff. However, it would've been a lot cooler had they recreated the Allen Iverson-Tyronn Lue stepover, in my opinion.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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