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NASA & the Mars Insight Lander


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Mission success, despite the politicians getting involved ;)



Audio has come through ;)

Well it is nearly that time of year, and it's space related :)

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Nice to hear the cheers as it landed, just waiting for the confirmation and pictures to come in now.

1st picture:

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Mission team members won't know whether InSight successfully deployed its solar panels until 8:35 p.m. EST (0135 GMT on Nov. 27) at the earliest. Without those arrays extended, the lander cannot survive, let alone probe the Red Planet's interior like never before — the main goal of the $850 million InSight mission.
The agonizing delay is unavoidable; NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter won't be in position to relay the deployment confirmation to mission control until more than 5 hours after touchdown, agency officials said.
They busted some moves with that handshake.

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NASA's InSight has sent signals to Earth indicating that its solar panels are open and collecting sunlight on the Martian surface. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter relayed the signals, which were received on Earth at about 5:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. EST). Solar array deployment ensures the spacecraft can recharge its batteries each day. Odyssey also relayed a pair of images showing InSight's landing site.

"The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are deployed and recharging the batteries," said Tom Hoffman, InSight's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which leads the mission. "It's been a long day for the team. But tomorrow begins an exciting new chapter for InSight: surface operations and the beginning of the instrument deployment phase."

InSight's twin solar arrays are each 7 feet (2.2 meters) wide; when they're open, the entire lander is about the size of a big 1960s convertible. Mars has weaker sunlight than Earth because it's much farther away from the Sun. But the lander doesn't need much to operate: The panels provide 600 to 700 watts on a clear day, enough to power a household blender and plenty to keep its instruments conducting science on the Red Planet. Even when dust covers the panels — what is likely to be a common occurrence on Mars — they should be able to provide at least 200 to 300 watts.

The panels are modeled on those used with NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, though InSight’s are slightly larger in order to provide more power output and to increase their structural strength. These changes were necessary to support operations for one full Mars year (two Earth years).

In the coming days, the mission team will unstow InSight's robotic arm and use the attached camera to snap photos of the ground so that engineers can decide where to place the spacecraft's scientific instruments. It will take two to three months before those instruments are fully deployed and sending back data.

In the meantime, InSight will use its weather sensors and magnetometer to take readings from its landing site at Elysium Planitia — its new home on Mars.


Interesting to see some of the rudimentary make up of such an expensive craft, duct tape, zip ties, tin foil, and even 2nd hand parts like the bent fins.
Last week someone died trying to convince a stone age tribe to believe in an iron age mythology, Today we landed a spaceship on another planet.
The first pictures back are pretty good resolution

Perhaps POC should study very hard sciences, design, then and build the hardware that went on the probe and then they can earn their place in the command centre?
Science box ticking exercises are very different from other areas I would guess.


Perhaps POC should study very hard sciences, design, then and build the hardware that went on the probe and then they can earn their place in the command centre?
Science box ticking exercises are very different from other areas I would guess.

You racist.

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A new picture from the Lander.

The lander—which doesn’t have any wheels to roll around—has powered up, it’s checking out its surroundings with the help of a camera mounted on the “elbow” of a six-foot-long robotic arm, seen hanging down from the top of the frame.

Once the arm has mapped nearby areas it will start to set up shop, placing two instruments onto the ruddy soil. The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure instrument (the hexagonal orange box) will monitor the ground for marsquakes—even ones that ripple the surface by just a few atoms. The gray plate-cover seen sitting just behind will be placed over it protect from wind and temperature swings.



The arm will also move the black, rocket-like tube to the surface, where it will drill down and drop a thermometer-like device 16 feet into the planet to track its temperature. Researchers hope that tracking heat flow will help settle questions about the interior, such as whether magma still flows deep inside the planet.

To minimize the risk of misplacement, the team expects InSight will proceed slowly but surely, taking as long as two or three months to settle in. The entire mission will last for about two Earth years.

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