Udayavni Special

Mars InSight lander seen in first images from space: NASA


Team Udayavani, Dec 16, 2018, 4:06 PM IST

Washington: A camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has captured the image of the InSight lander, which recently touched down on the Red Planet.

The InSight lander, its heat shield and parachute were spotted by HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) in one set of images taken on December 6, and again on December 11.

The lander, heat shield and parachute are within 1,000 feet of one another on Elysium Planitia, the flat lava plain selected as InSight’s landing location, NASA said in a statement.

This is not the first time HiRISE has photographed a Mars lander. InSight is based largely on 2008’s Phoenix spacecraft, which the camera aboard MRO captured on the surface of Mars as well as descending on its parachute.

While the HiRISE team at the University of Arizona also tried to take an image of InSight during landing, MRO was at a much less opportune angle and was not able to take a good picture.

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