NASA’s InSight Lander Takes First Images After Touching Down At Mars

Posted: Nov 30 2018, 6:09am CST | by , Updated: Nov 30 2018, 6:13am CST, in Latest Science News


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NASA’s InSight Lander Takes First Images after Touching Down at Mars
One of the first images taken by the Mars InSight lander. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The new mission arrived at Mars on Monday and appears to be in good shape.

After safely landing on Mars on Monday, NASA’s InSight spacecraft has opened it solar arrays and started charging its batteries. In the meantime, it took some incredible images of the Martian surface and sent them back to Earth.

“Slowly releasing all my pent-up tension, starting with loosening my grapple, as these before-and-after pics show," said the NASAInSight Twitter account.“Until I'm ready to stretch my arm out, my camera angles will be the same.”

InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, is a three-legged, one-armed robot that arrived at Mars on November 26 after traveling seven months through space. It was NASA's first spacecraft to land on Mars since the Curiosity rover in 2012 and the first dedicated to study the deep interior of the planet. In the coming days, the spacecraft will begin unfolding its robotic arm and deploy its scientific instruments on the Martian surface.

InSight is equipped with two full-color cameras, a self-hammering mole and an ultra-high-tech seismometer. German self-hammreing mole can burrow 16 feet down to measure planet’s internal heat, while the French seismometer will study Marsquakes to learn about the Martian core. No lander has achieved the depth of more than several inches on Mars and no seismometer has ever been worked there. The mission will not look for signs of life on Mars. 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.

Currently, InSight is using its weather sensors to take readings from its landing site at Elysium Planitia. Its cameras have already sent back six photos of the ground since touching down. The images will help researchers to decide the best locations to place the spacecraft's scientific instruments. It will take a couple of months before those instruments are fully deployed and sending back data.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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