InSight lander takes its first selfie on Mars

InSight lander takes its first selfie on Mars

That tradition has continued with the newly-landed InSight lander, and NASA just published the robot's first self-shot photo. Image released December 11, 2018.

For photos of the machine visible to the scientific instruments, the rod of weather sensors and antenna, UHF, reported on the official website of NASA, reports the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference for a New time.

Last week, the Nasa InSight lander captured a "haunting, low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind", which is the only audio that's ever been heard from the Red Planet. InSight will eventually use the almost six-foot long (2 meter) arm to pick up and carefully place the science instrument on the Martian surface.

This isn't your typical selfie; it's really a mosaic of 11 images from the camera on the lander's robotic arm.

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Over the next few weeks, scientists and engineers at NASA will determine where those instruments should go within the lander's workspace. The robotic lander, which was launched in May this year aboard an Atlas V-401 rocket, traveled a distance of 300 million miles (around 483 million kms) during its journey, ultimately landing at Elysium Planitia on the Red Planet.

"The near-absence of rocks, hills and holes means it'll be extremely safe for our instruments", said InSight's principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. They will then command InSight's robotic arm to carefully set the seismometer and heat-flow probe in the chosen locations. Even so, the landing spot turned out even better than they hoped. The hollow where the spacecraft now sits is a depression made by a meteor impact that filled with sand later.

Both work best on level ground, and engineers want to avoid setting them on rocks larger than about a half-inch.

"We had a protective cover on the Instrument Context Camera, but somehow dust still managed to get onto the lens", Tom Hoffman of JPL, InSight's project manager stated via an agency-issued response. Once drilling starts, the heat-flow probe could dig as deep as 16 feet (nearly 5 meters) below the Martian surface. "This might seem like a pretty plain piece of ground if it weren't on Mars, but we're glad to see that".

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