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The Lander, Heat Shield And Parachute Are Within 1,000 Feet Of One Another On Elysium Planitia, The Flat Lava Plain Selected As InSight's Landing Location, NASA Said In A Statement.

AFP | Updated on: 16 Dec 2018, 04:08:59 PM
The first picture of InSight taken from space. (NASA InSight)

Washington:

A camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has captured the image of the InSight lander, which recently touched down on the Red Planet. The InSight lander, its heat shield and parachute were spotted by HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) in one set of images taken on December 6, and again on December 11. 

The lander, heat shield and parachute are within 1,000 feet of one another on Elysium Planitia, the flat lava plain selected as InSight's landing location, NASA said in a statement. This is not the first time HiRISE has photographed a Mars lander. InSight is based largely on 2008's Phoenix spacecraft, which the camera aboard MRO captured on the surface of Mars as well as descending on its parachute.

While the HiRISE team at the University of Arizona also tried to take an image of InSight during landing, MRO was at a much less opportune angle and was not able to take a good picture.

Recently, InSight used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie -- a mosaic made up of 11 images, the US space agency said.  This is the same imaging process used by Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together, NASA said in a statement. Visible in the selfie were the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments. The InSight lander, designed to dig deep into the rocky surface of Mars to reveal its secrets, touched down on Mars on November 26. Mission team members have also received their first complete look at InSight's "workspace" - the nearly 4-by-2-metre crescent of terrain directly in front of the spacecraft

This image is also a mosaic composed of 52 individual photos, according to the NASA. In the coming weeks, scientists and engineers will go through the painstaking process of deciding where in this workspace the spacecraft's instruments should be placed, it said. 

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published : 16 Dec 2018, 04:07:56 PM

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