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NASA's InSight sends first picture from Mars surface after safe landing

The landing data and initial photograph were relayed to Earth from two briefcase-sized satellites that were launched along with InSight Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 27, 2018, 09.05 PM (IST)

NASA's InSight spacecraft, the first robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down safely on the surface of Mars on Monday with instruments to detect planetary seismic rumblings never measured anywhere but Earth.

The landing data and initial photograph were relayed to Earth from two briefcase-sized satellites that were launched along with InSight and were flying past Mars as it reached its destination. 

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The twin "Cubesats" tagging along for the flight to Mars represented the first deep-space use of a miniature satellite technology that space engineers see as a promising low-cost alternative to some larger, more complex vehicles.

The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took the picture of the Martian surface on November 26, 2018, the same day the spacecraft touched down on the Red Planet. 

The camera's transparent dust cover is still on in this image, to prevent particulates kicked up during landing from settling on the camera's lens. This image was relayed from InSight to Earth via NASA's Odyssey spacecraft, currently orbiting Mars.

(With agency inputs)

Story highlights

The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took the picture of the Martian surface on November 26, 2018, the same day the spacecraft touched down on the Red Planet.