Last night's 10-minute terror when InSight Mars Lander came down to the Mars area at 12,300 MPH, it was certainly…
Last night’s 10-minute terror when InSight Mars Lander came down to the Mars area at 12,300 MPH, it was certainly a nailbreaker, but now the robot science platform is safe and healthy – and has sent pictures back to prove it.
The first one sent was a couple of pictures of its surroundings: Elysium Planitia, a rather boring, flawless plan, yet perfect for InSights drilling and seismic activity work.
The pictures taken with its instrument context Camera are hardly exciting on their own – a dirty landscape is seen through a dusty tube. But when you consider it to be of an undiscovered territory on a distant planet, and that it is the mart’s dust and walls that attract the lens, suddenly it seems quite amazing!
Declines from interplanetary speed and makes a perfect landing was definitely the hard part but it was not InSight’s last challenge. After pushing down, it still needs to get up and make sure none of its many components and instruments were damaged during the long flight and shorten the descent to Mars.
And the first good news came shortly after landing, forwarded via NASA Odyssey Spacecraft in orbit: a partial selfie showing it was intact and ready to roll. The image shows, among other things, that the large cellular arm broke up on top of the lander and a large copper dome covering some other components.
Telemetry data sent around the same time shows that InSight has also successfully utilized its solar panels and its gathering power in order to continue to work. These fragile fans are obviously crucial for the landlord, and it’s a great relief to hear that they work properly.
This is just the first of many pictures the landlord sends, but unlike curiosity and the other robbers will not travel with snapshots of everything it sees. Your data will be gathered deep inside the planet, giving us insight into the origins of the planet and our solar system.