NASA's InSight Mars Lander captured this image using the Instrument Deployment Camera, mounted on the lander's robot arm. The photo…
NASA’s InSight Mars Lander captured this image using the Instrument Deployment Camera, mounted on the lander’s robot arm. The photo was taken on November 30, 201
8, only four days after InSight had touched.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
InSight Mars lands obviously celebrates success with a simple and durable arm boost.
NASA’s newest Red Planet Explorer discovered a photo of its own robotic arm standing up against a red-brown sky on November 30, just four days after spiking its touchdownon, the equatorial martinian plain Elysium Planitia.
The image was taken by the InSights Instrument Deployment Camera, which is approximately two thirds of the way down the master’s 5.75-foot (1.8-meter) arm. The black rectangle at the top of the image is a scoop, and the arm’s clump-like grip is below and points to the InSights deck. [NASA’s InSight Mars Lander: Amazing Landing Day Photos!]
The five fingered wax-activated grip is crucial to the success of InSight’s $ 850 million mission, which aims to map Mars decor into outstanding details. The farmer will use the claw to place his two main science instruments – a burrowing heater probe and a series of seismometers – directly on Elysium Planita’s red dirt. InSight will also add a thermal and weather shield over seismometers, which are so sensitive that they can detect seismic waves with the amplitude of a single atom.
The stationary landlord will not be ready to start these deployments until two to three months after landing, NASA officials said. The mission team wants to study InSights surroundings for a while to make sure they choose the right location and have practiced the important moves sufficiently. This exercise is done by a test bed loader on the mission’s home base, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (The bucket is pretty much for emergencies only if InSight needs to do some landscaping to facilitate deployment. Mission members have said they do not expect to use it.)
InSight measurements will take place over the next March (almost two years) should help researchers to better understand how rocky planets generally form and develop, NASA officials have said.
Elysium Planitia is located approximately 340 kilometers from Gale Crater, which NASA’s car size Curiosity Rover has been exploring since August 2012. Curiosity has been a very supportive older sibling, welcoming InSight to Mars, congratulating the landlord to cross important milestones (all on Twitter, of course).
“Put your robot arms in the air, make them stay! All @NASAInSight are wins. Check out this new image of arm and scoop from my new neighbor at #Mars, plus a lot of more raw photos: http://go.nasa.gov/InSightRaws, “The Curiosity Team said at Nov.30 via Rover’s Twitter account, highlighting InSights uplifting photo.
Mike Wall’s book on the search for alien life “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate) is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Originally published on Space.com.