Spotted: NASA Shares Images of InSight Lander as Seen from Space

NASA's MRO spots InSight on Mars.

The recently shared images were taken from a NASA craft orbiting the red planet. The photographs reveal the exact location of the Martian lander, as well as well where its parachute and heat shield ended up.

NASA has finally managed to locate the exact landing location of its new Martian laboratory, InSight.

Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.

Thanks to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the American Space Agency has managed to photograph the lander from space.

While the space agency knew its lander touched down within an 81-mile-long (130 km) ellipse on the red planet, it was not possible to determine where exactly it had landed in the area.

But new images snapped by MRO’s HiRISE camera have confirmed that the lander, heat shield, as well as InSight’s parachute are located within 1,000 feet of each other on a lava plain called Elysium Planitia on Mars.

Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.

As explained by NASA, in the recently published images, “the three new features on the Martian landscape appear teal. That’s not their actual color: Light reflected off their surfaces causes the color to be saturated.”

“The ground around the lander appears dark, having been blasted by its retrorockets during descent. Look carefully for a butterfly shape, and you can make out the lander’s solar panels on either side.”

Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.

InSight has already sent back a lot of data home.

The lander managed to record, for the first time ever, the sound of Martian wind.

InSight recorded the audio on December 1. NASA explains that the vibrations were picked up at a very low pitch, although the sound can still be heard.

Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab said that while InSight didn’t set out to record Martian wind, its a nice addition to the mission.

InSight is set to reveal a number of secrets about what exactly Mars is like beneath the surface.
Mission scientists are now getting ready to prepare the lander for upcoming operations which will tell us unprecedented details about our neighboring planet.

Source
NASA Science
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