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

Gwen Vasquez
December 2, 2018

He also designed the robotic arm, which will dig deep beneath the surface of the planet to see explore how it was formed. Teledyne's image sensors will play a major role in helping scientists and engineers decide where to place the very specialized instruments to inform the best results of the study of Mars' interior.

Now playing: Watch this: NASA's InSight landing and the insane odds behind getting. It will operate on the surface for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or sols, until November 24, 2020. The $814 million lander, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, followed its script to the letter, culminating in the successful unfurling of its critical solar panels. After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight's entry, descent and landing, accordng to JPL's news release.

"We are solar-powered, so getting the arrays out and operating is a big deal", said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission. These changes will ensure that operations are supported for one full Mars year which translates in two Earth years. That process was programmed to begin about 16 minutes after landing and take another 16 minutes to complete. Since landing, it has taken two photos and sent them back as postcards to Earth, showing off its new home. Odyssey has also relayed a pair of images showing InSight's landing site.

"Today, we successfully landed on Mars for the eighth time in human history", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

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While this may ordinarily be an American conquest or achievement, Ghanaians have every right to join in the jubilation. "To be able to be a part of it, even in a small way even, is really kind of wonderful".

After traveling roughly 300 million miles since its launch May 5, a NASA spacecraft called "InSight" landed on Mars on Monday afternoon.

"Landing was thrilling, but I'm looking forward to the drilling", said InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of JPL.

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.

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