With InSight safe on Mars surface, missionteam at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is busylearn more about the…
With InSight safe on Mars surface, mission
team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is busy
learn more about the spacecraft landing site. They knew when InSight
landed on November 26th that the spacecraft had reached the target, a lava plain
the name Elysium Planitia. Now they have decided that the vehicle is sitting slightly
leaned (about 4 degrees) in a superficial dust and sandy stroke crater known
like a “hollow”. InSight has been designed to work on a surface
with a slope of up to 15 degrees.
“The science team had hoped to land in a sandy
area with few stones since we chose the landing ground, so we could not be happier, “
said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman from JPL. “There is no landing
pillows or landing courses on Mars, so come down in an area that is basically a big one
Sandbox without large rocks should make instrument expansion easier and
give a good place for our cloud to begin digging. “
Rockiness and gradient factor to landing
security and is also important to determine if InSight can succeed
mission after landing. Rocks and slopes can affect InSight’s ability to position
its heat profile ̵
1; also known as the “mill” or HP 3 –
and ultra-sensitive seismometer, known as SEIS, on the surface of Mars.
Moving on an over steep slope in
The wrong direction may also have jeopardized the spacecraft’s ability to become adequate
the effect of its two sun rays, while landing next to a large rock could
has prevented InSight from opening one of these arrays. Actually,
Both arrays are fully utilized shortly after landing.
InSight science team
preliminary assessment of the photographs taken so far in the landing area
suggests that the area in the immediate vicinity of the lander is populated by only
some stones. Higher resolution images are expected to start coming forward
Days after InSight released the plastic plastic dust cover that held optics
of the spacecraft’s two cameras secured on landing.
“We are looking forward to higher definitions
images to confirm this preliminary assessment, says JPL’s Bruce
Banerdt, principal researcher of InSight. “About these few pictures – with
resolution-reducing dust cover on – is accurate, it fits well for both
instrument deployment and minor penetration of our underground heat flow
Places on the Mars surface have been carefully selected for the two main areas
instrument, the team will refrain and start the first testing of the mechanical
arm that will place them there. The image above shows the grip at the end of
The arm changes something, as expected, after being locked.
Downloads from the landlord also indicate that during their first full day at
Mars, the solar-powered InSight spacecraft generated more power than
any previous vehicle on the Mars surface.
is good to get our first “off-world record” on our very first all day on Mars, “
said hoffman “But even better than the achievement of generating more electricity
than any mission in front of us is what it represents to accomplish our coming
technical data. The 4,588 watts we produced under the sun 1 mean we
Currently having more than enough juice to perform these tasks and move on
with our scientific mission. “
from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California May 5, InSight comes
operate on the surface for a March year, plus 40 March days or suns – it
equivalent to almost two years of age. InSight will study the deep interior
by Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including the earth
and the moon, formed.
Handles InSight for NASA’s Science Assignment Directorate. InSight is a part of
NASA’s Discovery Program, run by the Agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center
in Huntsville, Alabama.
number of European partners, including France’s National National d’Études
Spatiales (CNES) and German Space Center (DLR) support
InSight mission. CNES, and the Institute of Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP),
provided the SEIS instrument, with significant contributions from Max
Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, Switzerland
Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland, Imperial College and Oxford
University in the UK, and JPL. DLR provided HP 3
instruments, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK)
by the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain’s Centro de
Astrobiologists (CAB) delivered the wind sensors.
For more information about
For more information about
NASA’s Mars mission, go to:
News Media Contact
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California