Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

NASA's InSight Lander Strikes A Confident Pose For Its First Martian Selfie

NASA's InSight Lander Strikes A Confident Pose For Its First Martian Selfie

The InSight lander used the arm to snapped a series of pictures that NASA turned into a stunning mosaic released this week.

'The solar panels on the lander's sides are flawless acoustic receivers, ' Prof Pike said. The image was received on December 4, 2018 (Sol 8).

This image shows InSight's solar panels and deck; on top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. This image is also a mosaic, made up of 52 individual images sent by InSight. The latest piece of news we have from the lander is a bit different though: InSight has sent NASA a song. Mission team members have also received their first complete look at InSight's "workspace" - the almost 4-by-2-metre crescent of terrain directly in front of the spacecraft.

One of InSight's 7-foot (2.2 meter) wide solar panels was imaged by the lander's Instrument Deployment Camera, which is fixed to the elbow of its robotic arm.

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They will then command InSight's robotic arm to carefully set the seismometer - the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) - and heat-flow probe - known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) - in the chosen locations.

"The near-absence of rocks, hills and holes means it'll be extremely safe for our instruments", InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in the same statement.

Indeed, it appears that InSight landed inside an impact crater that later filled with sand, NASA officials said. Both work better on a flat surface, and the engineers want to avoid installing them on the rocks.

The $850 million InSight mission launched in May, along with two fly-along cubesats named MarCO-A and MarCO-B. That will definitely make things easier for the heat-flow probe once it is drilled 16 feet below the surface. 26 Nov InSight spacecraft landed on the surface of Mars. He notes, "We're glad to see that". It is hoped data provided by InSight will give scientists back on Earth a better understanding of how terrestrials planets like our own are formed.

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