NASA's InSight truck is not shy. The spacecraft
uses a camera on his robotic hand to take his first self – mosaic composed of
11 images. This is the same image processing process used by NASA's Curiosity rover
a mission in which many overlapping paintings are captured and later sewn
together. Visible within itself is the solar panel of the plane and its integrity
deck, including scientific instruments.
The mission team members also received their first entry
look at InSight's "workspace" – approximately 14-by-7-feet (4 to 2 meters)
half-moon on the field just ahead of the spacecraft. This image is also
a mosaic consisting of 52 individual photos.
In the coming weeks, scientists and engineers will go
through a difficult process of deciding where in this workspace
spacecraft tools need to be placed. Then they will run the InSight robot
to set the seismometer carefully (called a seismic experiment for
Internal structure or SEIS)
and a heat probe (known as the heat flow and physical properties package, or
in the selected locations. Both work best in equal measure, and engineers want it
avoid placing them on rocks larger than about half inch (1.3 cm).
"The immediate absence of rocks, hills and holes means
this will be extremely safe for our tools, "said the director of InSight
Investigator Bruce Banner of the NASA Reactor Laboratory in Pasadena,
California. "This may seem like a pretty obvious piece of land if it is not
on Mars, but we are happy to see this. "
The InSight expert team deliberately chose a landing area
in Elysium Planitia, which is relatively free of rocks. However, the place of landing
were even better than they hoped. The spacecraft sits in what it looks like
to be almost without rock "hollow" – a depression created by a meteor
a blow that was later filled with sand This would make it easier for one of them
The instruments of InSight, the heat flow probe that carried its 16-foot goal
(5 meters) below the surface.
JPL manages InSight for NASA
Mission Statement Directorate. InSight is part of the NASA program,
run by the Marshall Center for Space Agency flights in Huntsville, Alabama.
Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including his
cruise scene and landing, and maintains space mission operations for the mission.
A number of European partners,
including the National Spatials Center (CNES) and the German National Center for National Science
Aerospace Center (DLR), support the InSight mission. CNES and the Institute
The Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) provided the seismic experiment for
Instrument for Internal Structure (SEIS), with significant input from the
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, Switzerland
Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland, Imperial College London and
Oxford University in the United Kingdom and JPL. DLR provided a heat flow
and the physical properties package (HP3) tool, with significant
contribution from the Center for Space Research (CBC) of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Science and Astronomy in Poland. The Spanish Centro de Astrobiología (CAB)
powered the wind sensors.
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.