TechnologyNASA's InSIght lander sent photos from Mars

18:20  07 december  2018
18:20  07 december  2018 Source:   newsweek.com

Tiny NASA spacecraft snaps its first view of Mars

Tiny NASA spacecraft snaps its first view of Mars A dainty CubeSat becomes the first of its kind to take a Martian snapshot.

The InSight lander will study the interior of Mars and listen for Marsquakes. NASA ' s eight-episode podcast series 'On a Mission' follows the InSight spacecraft on its journey to Mars , and details the extraordinary challenges of landing on the Red Planet.

NASA ' s InSight lander hit Mars on Monday at 2:54 p.m. ET. As scientists at mission control erupted in cheers and handshakes, the craft sent back its first visual proof that it had touched down on Martian soil safely.

Video by FOX News

It’s been nearly two weeks since NASA successfully landed its InSIght lander on Mars and the craft is getting ready to start its important work on the planet.

The craft is going to help researchers learn about the interior of Mars and the planet’s history by digging under the surface of the planet to collect information about its makeup and history. NASA refers to the craft’s task of learning about the planet’s seismic waves as “taking the planet’s pulse.” The craft will also be measuring the heat flowing in and out of the planet and the planet’s motion.

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NASA ' s InSight lander is the first mission to explore Mars ' deep interior. InSight will delve beneath the surface of Mars , detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation.

Yesterday was a big day for NASA . The InSight lander which launched early this year finally arrived at Mars and successfully landed on the planet' s Now, with the lander still getting itself ready for the years of work ahead of it, the robot took the time to shoot back its very first photos of its landing site.

An image received Tuesday by NASA shows the craft with its arm outstretched the six feet it reaches. First, it will map the area around it in 3D and then use that map to determine where to put the mission instruments. The arm will move the science instruments from the lander and set them on the surface of the planet so they can start taking data reads.

The photo is one of many that came back from Mars this week showing the planet and the craft itself. The raw images the craft sends back to NASA are hosted on the InSight mission site where anyone can take a look at them all and see what the craft’s instruments see while on Mars.

NASA's InSIght lander sent photos from Mars© NASA The first image the lander sent back right after it made its successful landing was obstructed and difficult to make out because the lens cap was still on the camera but with the cap off the photos are far more clear now.

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The lander plunged through the thin Martian atmosphere, heatshield first, and used a parachute to slow down. It fired its retro rockets to slowly descend to the InSight ' s goal is to study the interior of Mars and take the planet' s vital signs, its pulse, and temperature. To look deep into Mars , the lander must

NASA ' s InSight Mars lander launched today (May 5) atop an Atlas V rocket, rising off a pad at California's Vandenberg Air — NASA ' s latest Mars explorer is on its way to the Red Planet. The agency' s InSight Mars lander lifted off [Launch Photos : See NASA ' s InSight Soar Toward Mars ].

The lander is also sharing many of the photos on its Twitter account and sharing information about its progress on Mars.

"Today we can see the first glimpses of our workspace. "By early next week, we'll be imaging it in finer detail and creating a full mosaic," the principal investigator for the mission, Bruce Banerdt, said.

The craft is still moving cautiously as a precaution during the first few weeks on Mars, similar how to people take time to get their bearings when they’re in a new place. The craft was tested extensively on Earth before its May 5 launch and six-month journey through space but the operators back on Earth set the safety monitors built into the craft to be sensitive for the early days on the new planet, just to be on the safe side of exploring.​

Mars Lander InSight sends the first of many selfies after a successful touchdown.
Last night's 10 minutes of terror as the InSight Mars Lander descended to the Martian surface at 12,300 MPH were a nail-biter for sure, but now the robotic science platform is safe and sound — and has sent pics back to prove it. The first thing it sent was a couple pictures of its surroundings: Elysium Planitia, a rather boring-looking, featureless plane that is nevertheless perfect for InSight's drilling and seismic activity work.

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