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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

InSight lander updates and current status

InSight lander mission - First mission to explore deep into Mars to reveal the origin of planet.
Image from InSight lander portraying Mars | Second Image since landing

     National Aeronautics Space Administration - InSight Mars mission launched aboard Atlas-V on 05 May 2018 from Vandenberg launch site and continued its interplanetary journey of about 483 million kilometers. It successfully landed on Mars on 26th November 2018 at Elysium Planitia. It was designed and managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA's California Institute of Technology. 

    After its touchdown, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey image reported that solar panels were successfully deployed and it started generating solar power. A touchdown image was retained indicating successful landing and later surface image of Mars was transmitted by InSight lander.

   InSight lander landed with a micro-chip embedded with millions of participants names which will be embedded on Stones of Mars using laser spectroscopy. Previous NASA mission Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" also did the same. The contest was open online to register name worldwide.

   NASA achieved 8th attempt in successful landing with InSight lander succeeding Mars Polar Lander, Viking landers, Pathfinder, Phoenix and few rovers. The main objective of InSight mission was to explore interior Mars and to observe seismic activity using seismometer and a heat flow probe.

  Along with InSight, NASA launched two CubeSats to demonstrate the technological working of CubeSat in deep space. And it was aimed to act as a relay between lander and ground stations on earth during the course of landing. It succeeded in transmitting signals from lander to earth. These two CubeSats were named as MarCO.
Latest image from InSight showing landing leg - Reason for which it tilted

  Now InSight completed 8 sols (7 days) of operation. Current status reports that, the lander is slightly tilted from its original position. It will be barrier for further operations and mission accomplishment. Scientists believe that InSight may or may not accomplish its planned mission. 

Image Credit : NASA

Tags: InSight lander updates | Space Updates | Fornax Space Missions | NASA InSight


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