NASA InSight Mars Lander Returns Arresting Selfies From Red Planet's Surface

NASA InSight Mars Lander Returns Arresting Selfies From Red Planet's Surface

NASA InSight Mars Lander Returns Arresting Selfies From Red Planet's Surface

NASA's two cubesats were able to monitor InSight as it landed, these experimental satellites were useful because they sent live data back to Earth even while InSight was performing atmospheric entry.

The spacecraft took the image of itself from the red dusty planet, arguably making it the first selfie on Mars.

The Insight lander touched down near Mars' equator on the western side of a flat, smooth expanse of lava called Elysium Planitia.

This is the eighth successful Mars landing.

As well as a simulation of the craft opening up 7-foot-wide solar panels that will be crucial to providing the lander with 700 watts of electricity on a clear enough day.

Professor Pike said: "Studying Mars lets us travel to the solar system's ancient past". On Board there is a seismograph and geophysical thermometer. The spacecraft is expected to take more photos of the landing site and send them back to Earth, where scientists will use them to decide where the probe should place its instruments.

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NASA's contemporary Mars lander has returned the initial extraordinary images of the surface of the red planet, captured at the conclusion of a frantic journey. Its probe to measure heat flow five meters below Mars' surface was made in Germany and Poland, its weather station in Spain and its laser reflector, which will be used for precision longitude, latitude and altitude measurements, in Italy.

Many Mars-bound spacecraft launched by the U.S., Russian Federation and other countries have been lost or destroyed over the years, with a success rate of just 40 percent, not counting InSight.

An artist's conception of the InSight lander on the surface of Mars with its seismometer (left) and heat probe (right) deployed.

Almost two dozen other Mars missions have been sent from other nations. But during the flyby, MarCO-A transmitted signals through the edge of the Martian atmosphere. "During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly - and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did". They'll never replace the more capable spacecraft NASA is best known for developing. "We have reawakened NASA, and that's a good thing". Video from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California shows the men and women inside mission control unable to contain their excitement as touch-down approached, and once the unit landed it was total jubilation.

Normally, this relaying is done using the already existing spacecraft such as NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or the European Space Agency's Mars Express.

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