NASA's InSight Lander Sends Back Its First Selfie From Mars

The InSight Lander Is Ready To Work, But First Let It Take A Selfie

December 13, 2018
NASA_InSIght

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NASA’s InSight Spacecraft is officially on Mars, and it is already teaching the planet about the ways of Earth. Its first order of business once planted on the red planet was taking a selfie, of course. The InSight Lander sent back photos of itself on Mars, that it took using its six-foot-long robotic arm to flip its camera on itself for the snapshot.

On December 6th, the InSight spacecraft sent back the first of a series of photos taken with its attached camera. The mosaic was a series of 11 photos taken and stitched together showing the InSight’s solar panels, along with all the scientific instruments onboard the 800 pound spacecraft. The InSight will now stay in place for the next two years as it probes the planet for valuable information.

The photo taken shows the location of NASA’s InSight spacecraft, which is the area it will remain while it studies Mars. The spacecraft sits in a rare flat area of the planet, near the Martian equator known as Elysium Planitia. Unlike other rovers sent to Mars by NASA, that move along the planet, the InSight Lander will stay in place, allowing it to gain more information on frequency and magnitude of marsquakes.

The mission will also study how heat is from inside the red planet makes its way to the surface of the planet. This two year mission is already underway, as the InSight has sent back a number of photos, including its selfie. One photo taken shows a Mars sunset, while also giving an example of the area the InSight will be in for the next two years.

NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down on November 26th, and engineers have been testing the lander’s instruments in preparation for its placement on the surface. This process should take about two to three months according to NASA. Once officially ready for its mission, the InSight will stay put in the flat open area of Mars, that scientist have dubbed “the biggest parking lot on Mars.”

Via NBC News