STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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 2:12 AM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 2:12 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.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 354885

Reported Deaths: 7375
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1432073943
Riverside27371577
Orange27031455
San Bernardino21468310
San Diego21446448
Fresno894191
Alameda8478154
Imperial8145148
San Joaquin742873
Santa Clara6951173
Kern692198
Tulare6332153
Sacramento617492
Stanislaus551761
Contra Costa514092
Ventura478756
San Francisco469650
Santa Barbara441232
San Mateo4254114
Marin394740
Kings310841
Monterey291318
Solano240731
Merced226015
Sonoma194116
Placer116711
San Luis Obispo11126
Madera105410
Yolo102330
Santa Cruz6023
Napa5614
Lassen4440
Sutter4414
Butte4374
San Benito4082
El Dorado3630
Yuba2213
Shasta2156
Glenn1901
Nevada1851
Humboldt1754
Mendocino1550
Colusa1400
Lake1331
Tehama1261
Tuolumne800
Calaveras750
Del Norte610
Mono541
Amador480
Siskiyou430
Inyo371
Mariposa341
Plumas210
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Oroville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Paradise
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Chester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 50°
Red Bluff
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Willows
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Wednesday was a scorching day for parts of the valley as northerly airflow really warmed our temperatures. The breezes will continue Thursday, but their direction will shift and it will be slightly cooler.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events