This epic NASA handshake was inspired by NFL players

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

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 4:12 AM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 4:12 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?

Athletes

Football (American)

Government organizations - US

NASA

NFL

Space and astronomy

Sports and recreation

Sports organizations and teams

US federal departments and agencies

US government independent agencies

National Football Conference

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

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 as Brooke Harper and Gene Bonfiglio -- 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 Harper, a Chiefs fan, in an interview that NASA posted. "We saw something that we liked from a previous game, and we kind of mimicked it."

Bonfiglio, 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," Harper said.

When they're not perfecting the art of NFL handshakes, the two 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," Bonfiglio said.

The good folks of the internet might disagree.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 44°
Columbus
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 46°
Oxford
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 48°
Starkville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 50°
We are starting off cold once again this morning with temperatures in the 30's, some below freezing and with a slight north wind it is feeling even colder. High pressure builds back into our area today with more sunshine.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather