NASA's InSight Shares First Picture After Profitable Mars Touchdown



Instead, it is expected to provide our best look yet at Mars' deep interior, which in turn will reveal clues about how terrestrial planets formed. It was NASA's eighth successful landing in nine tries.

The team can chill for a little while know that we all know that the spacecraft solar arrays have been deployed and the batteries are recharging, according to Tom Hoffman, InSight's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He is in charge of the InSight mission's robotic arm and hand.

NASA has launched its InSight in May of this year.

After the landing, MarCO-B turned backward to take a farewell shot of the Red Planet.

"A lot of people in the CubeSat community are looking at this mission to be a sort of pioneer and to see what they can achieve", she said. InSight's surface-operations phase began a minute after touchdown.

Landing on Mars is exceptionally hard: Before InSight, only about 40 percent of all attempts by various nations had succeeded. Since the lander does not need much power to operate, the low 600-700 W provided by them because of the weaker sunlight on Mars is sufficient to operate the instruments on the lander.

The CubeSats' mission objective is independent of InSight's. "With the arrays providing the energy we need to start the cool science operations, we are well on our way to thoroughly investigate what's inside of Mars for the very first time".

There are no science instruments on MarCO. "Within two or three months, the arm will deploy the mission's main science instruments, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) and Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP) instruments". There was a problem however: The orbiter could only either receive or send information, so engineers at JPL and NASA headquarters had to wait around four hours to learn whether their half-a-billion-dollar spacecraft had successfully landed or crashed 33 million miles away. "I think CubeSats have a big future beyond Earth's orbit, and the MarCO team is happy to trailblaze the way". Since landing, it has taken two photos and sent them back as postcards to Earth, showing off its new home. "The success of these two unique missions is a tribute to the hundreds of talented engineers and scientists who put their genius and labor into making this a great day". "It's given them valuable experience on every facet of building, testing and operating a spacecraft in deep space".

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