The image includes the lander's solar panel and its entire deck (Photo: Twitter)
NASA’s InSight lander has taken its first selfie using the spacecraft's robotic arm, the US space agency has said. InSight, a first robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of the Red Planet, touched down safely at Elysium Planitia for a two-year mission on the surface of Mars on November 26.
"On December 6, the InSight lander used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie -- a mosaic made up of 11 images. The image includes the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna,” NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.
In addition, InSight sent another set of mosaic composed of 52 individual photos.
"The near-absence of rocks, hills and holes means it'll be extremely safe for our instruments," said InSight's principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
"This might seem like a pretty plain piece of ground if it weren't on Mars, but we're glad to see that," Banerdt added.
Earlier, InSight snapped the image of the deserted land. The photo was captured by InSight’s Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), which is found on the lander’s robotic arm. In the background Elysium Planitia, a large plain could be located at the planet’s equator.
InSight, the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California on May 5, 2018. Unlike the Curiosity rover, Insight won’t be able to move about on Mars. But using a suite of instruments and a seven-foot-long robotic arm, it will drill up to 16 feet below the surface at its landing site, Elysium Planitia, a broad plain that has been called “the biggest parking lot on Mars.”