Safely on Mars, InSight unfolds its arrays and snaps some pics

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With this mission, NASA becomes the first to study seismology and the depths of the Red Planet.

InSight is now NASA's eighth successful mission to touch down on Mars, and the spacecraft is created to do something that no rover or lander has done before. The mission's engineers, including a team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, were able to stay in contact with the vessel thanks to two cube satellites that were tested and prepped by Cal Poly engineers and students just before launch. With the fins folded out, InSight is about the size of a big 1960s convertible, NASA said.

We now have a lovely new image of Mars.

The moment the $993 million unmanned lander, named InSight, touched down on the red planet on Monday afternoon, celebrations began across the globe - but one in particular has captivated audiences. They are the first CubeSats sent into deep space. This image was acquired on November 26, 2018, Sol 0 of the InSight mission where the local mean solar time for the image exposures was 13:34:21.

Landing on Mars is exceptionally hard: Before InSight, only about 40 percent of all attempts by various nations had succeeded.

In a report by the New York Times, the spacecraft's mission is to study Mars' underworld, listening for marsquakes as well as information about the dusty formation. Over the next 3 months, InSight's scientists will now slowly place both instruments on the surface, with science operations expected to begin by March 2019.

The CubeSats' mission objective is independent of InSight's.

He's leading one of the teams that will analyze Mars's core. It will take a couple of months before those instruments are fully deployed and sending back data. "When the first images come down, our engineering and science teams will hit the ground running, beginning to plan where to deploy our science instruments". It is the most recent Mars lander of NASA after Pheonix, which completed its mission in 2008. "Believe me, it is a lot of fun".

The solar arrays are about seven feet tall, and they are basically an upgraded version of the ones that are used with NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

"The success of these two unique missions [InSight and MarCO] is a tribute to the hundreds of talented engineers and scientists at NASA, who put their genius mind and labor into making this day to a memorable one in the NASA's history". "During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly-and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did", Hoffman was quoted in the release.

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