Safely on Mars, InSight Unfolds Its Arrays and Snaps Some Pics

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MarCO-B also beamed back an image of Mars while flying about 6,000 kilometres above the surface of the Mars.

'InSight will study the interior of Mars, and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars.

Farah Alibay, a systems engineer at JPL for four years, told the Sun in May, just before the mission launched, that the satellites' success would be critical for similar missions in the future.

The team at Cal Poly began prepping the satellites back in late February and continued the work up until May, when the instruments were sent down to Vandenberg Air Force Base before InSight launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The camera on the Lander's arm will provide 3D color views of the landing site, instrument placement, and activities to inform engineers and scientists of the best spots for the seismometer and heat flow probe to gather measurements from the interior of Mars.

The two CubeSats that are now orbiting around Mars are nicknamed Wall-E and Eva, because they both use a compressed gas commonly found in fire extinguishers to push themselves through, just like the character from a 2008 Pixar animation.

These solar panels are created to provide 600-700 watts on a clear day which is just enough to sustain the tools that will be used to study the inner workings on Mars.

The team can chill for a little while know that we all know that the spacecraft solar arrays have been deployed and the batteries are recharging, according to Tom Hoffman, InSight's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

On Nov. 26, the MarCo's softball-sized radios kicked on and began transmitting information from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the planet since 2006.

CubeSats are a type of spacecraft, much smaller in size compared to traditional, large spacecraft.

Trebi-Ollennu's interest in spacecraft developed when he was growing up in Ghana. The MarCO team will collect data from each satellite to determine how much fuel they have left and a deeper look at how they performed. "It's been exciting to see the view from nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) above the surface". "But they're low-priced ride-alongs that can allow us to explore in new ways". "We are proud of their accomplishment". Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.

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