Sunday , January 24 2021

NASA's InSight Mars Lender takes a selfie photograph, surveys and workspace

NASA's new landing Mars has snapped its first selfie on the Red Planet.

The InSight probe, which touched the flat plane equator Elysium Planitia on November 26, took the selfie using the camera on its robotic arm 1.5 meters (1.8 meters). The photograph consists of 11 separate pictures, NASA officials said.

"It's the same imaging process used by NASA's pursuit of curiosity, in which many overlapping images are taken and later taken together," the officials wrote in a statement describing the image, released today (December 11). "Visible within the selfie are the solar panel Of the lander and its entire deck, including its science tools. " [NASA’s InSight Mars Lander: Amazing Landing Day Photos!]

These devices include self-testing heat-stripping series of remarkably sensitive seismometers, both of which must be placed directly on the red dirt by the arm of Insight. Such maneuvering had never been carried out before; All the former Mars robots abandoned their scientific equipment on their bodies and / or their arms.

It is essential for InSight to get the right position, so members of the task team have been carefully characterizing the red dirt on the feet of the lander. And there's good news in this area: the work environment looks very good, as evidenced by the new images of InSight.

"The near absence of rocks, hills and holes means it will be extremely safe for our devices," said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in the same statement. "It may seem like a fairly simple piece of ground If it was not on Mars, but we're happy to see it. "

Indeed, it appears that InSight landed in an impact crater then filled with sand, NASA officials said.The soft earth should facilitate the excavation of the heat test, which was designed to reach between 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) below ground.

The work space image is also complex, combining 52 individual images, NASA officials said.

The $ 850 million InSight mission was launched in May, along with two fly-along cubesats called Marco-A and Marco-B. The last two vessels became the first Cobbs to reveal interstellar space, and they also broadcast Insight's home data during the lander landing on November 26.

The main purpose of InSight is to map the interior of Mars in unprecedented detail, helping scientists better understand the composition of the planet and the structure. Such information should shed light on the formation of rocky planets in general, NASA officials have said.

Only after landing did mission team members say they would probably not be ready to deploy the spacecraft and the seismometer package by January or February. The mission of InSight is scheduled to last for one year of Mars, which is almost two years Earth.

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