A little Mars-closer spacecraft has snapped a photo of its target, marking the first time that a cubesat has ever…
A little Mars-closer spacecraft has snapped a photo of its target, marking the first time that a cubesat has ever taken a picture of the red planet.
One Marscube One Marscube One Marscube One Marscube One Marscube One NASC acquired the image on October 2 when it was approximately 8 million miles from the red planet, officials said.
1; officially known as MarCO-A and MarCO-B, but named “Eve” and “Wall-E”, after the 2008 Pixar movie “Wall-E” was launched with NASA’s InSight Mars lander the beginning of May. The main objective of the MarCO mission is to prove that cubes, whose activities have so far been limited to the Earth’s orbit, can really make the long trip to the red planet. Their success can help pave the way for much more activity in deep space of small and cheap spacecraft, mission group members have said. [Mars InSight: NASA’s Mission to Probe Red Planet’s Core (Gallery)]
“We have been waiting six months to come to Mars,” said MarCO Mission Cody Colley, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The mission’s cruise phase is always difficult, so you take all the small wins when they arrive. Finally, the planet definitely looks a big win for the team.”
Annotated version of the MarCO Mars photo of October 2, 2018 that identifies the various spacecraft parts visible in the image.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
MarCO-B (Wall-E) took the recently released image to test exposure settings for a wide-angle camera, as NASA officials added in the same statement.
MarCO duo will try to return home to Earth data from InSight during the country’s Mars Touchdown trial, which will take place on November 26th. But this is not a crucial duty; Other NASA spacecraft, such as Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, will also do this work.
Eve and Wall-E will not try on their own but rather they will fly by March on November 26th. Their mission will then end after engineers analyzed and recorded data on the health and performance of the cube kit.
InSights name is short for “Interior Projects with Seismic Surveys, Geodesy and Heat Transport.” Landers will measure the surface heat flow and monitor “Marsquakes”, collect data that will reveal a lot about the Red Planet’s internal structure and composition.
This information will in turn highlight the formation and development of rocky planets will be published on November 13 by Grand Central Publishing. Mike Wall’s book about the search for alien life “ Out There . Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook . Originally published on Space.com .