Science

NASA Insight Lander Dispatches Incredible Image Of The Martian Horizon

NASA Insight Lander Dispatches Incredible Image Of The Martian Horizon”

Although NASA emphasized the experimental nature of the cubesats prior to the landing, the MarCO spacecraft performed as intended, receiving the UHF telemetry from InSight during its entry, descent and landing phase and rebroadcasting it at X-band frequencies received by NASA's Deep Space Network.

The device, described as a self-hammering mechanism, is a component of a heat probe that will examine the thermal properties of the Red Planet.

The goal is to have InSight dig 16 feet under the soil to gather more information about the innerworkings of the planet, including its inner temperature and the frequency and strength of earthquakes, per AP.

Phoning home: NASA had to wait several minutes before InSight phoned home to say it's okay. NASA received confirmation that the solar arrays were deployed at 8:30 p.m. EST (0130 November 27 GMT), about five-and-a-half hours after InSight landed on Mars.

The stationary 360-kilogram lander will use its 1.8-metre robotic arm to place a mechanical mole and seismometer on the ground when it arrives on Mars.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s InSight spacecraft on Monday touched down safely on Mars, kicking off its two-year mission as the first spacecraft created to explore the deep interior of another world. The mission is expected to last about two Earth years. But tomorrow begins an exciting new chapter for InSight: "surface operations and the beginning of the instrument deployment phase". The picture was speckled with dirt because the dust cover was still on the lander's camera, but the terrain at first glance looked smooth and sandy with just one sizable rock visible - pretty much what scientists had hoped for.

The first image has already been beamed down Earth by the lander.

"The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are deployed and recharging the batteries", Tom Hoffman, NASA's InSight project manager here at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a statement.

InSight is set to be the first probe sent to investigate the interior of Mars. Up to now, the success rate at the red planet was only 40 percent, counting every attempted flyby, orbital flight and landing by the U.S., Russian Federation and other countries since 1960.

Chief Nasa administrator James Bridenstine told reporters it was "an awesome day" and said that President Donald Trump has rung to offer his congratulations.

Still, there are no life detectors aboard InSight. The mission will help boffins understand the formation of rocky planets, and the Solar System as a whole, explained Bruce Banerdt, InSight's principal investigator.



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