Camera InSight sent a selfie from Mars

Nov 30, 2018, 00:18
Camera InSight sent a selfie from Mars

With just hours go, NASA's InSight spacecraft aimed for a bull's-eye touchdown on Mars, zooming in like an arrow with no turning back.

"Everybody was ridiculously happy, relieved and it took a while to sink in", he said. "And so, basically, wherever we are we stick it, that's where we're going to stay". Better photos are expected in the days ahead, after the dust covers come off.

After the photo was snapped, InSight transmitted the image back to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Аппарат In Sight прислал селфи с Марса
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NASA's InSight lander opens a window into the "inner space" of Mars. NASA also got the Curiosity rover on Mars back in 2012, and the robot is still exploring the Red Planet. "Sometimes things work out in your favor". It will measure how heat flows through the surface of the planet. They have the potential to both cut mission costs as well as provide a new platform for scientific observations.

The suite of geophysical instruments will take measurements of Mars' internal activity like seismology and the wobble as the sun and its moons tug on the planet.

The planetary know-how gained from InSight's USD$1 billion, two-year operation could even spill over to rocky worlds beyond our solar system, according to Banerdt. He said the image would be cleaned and the black specks would disappear.

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A pair of cameras will help Earth-based scientists see the deployment of the instruments.

The 800-pound (360-kilogram) InSight is stationary and will operate from the same spot for the next two years, the duration of a Martian year. The danger was that the spacecraft could burn up in the atmosphere or bounce off it. "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 shooting for Elysium Planitia, a plain near the Martian equator that the InSight team hopes is flat enough for a smooth landing.

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Watch parties for Nasa's live television coverage of the event were held at museums, libraries and other public venues around the world, including Times Square, where a small crowd of 40 or 50 people braved pouring rain to witness the broadcast on a giant television screen affixed to a wall of the Nasdaq building. NASA TV coverage was also shown on the giant screen in New York's Times Square, where crowds huddled under umbrellas in the rain.

"It was intense and you could feel the emotion", Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an interview on Nasa television afterwards. While Earth is active seismically, Mars "decided to rest on its laurels" after it formed, he said. NASA's Mars 2020 mission, for instance, will collect rocks for eventual return that could hold evidence of ancient life. That's deeper than any instrument that has ever been to Mars.

Spain's Centro de Astrobiologia made the spacecraft's wind sensors, and three of InSight's seismic instruments were designed and built in Britain.

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