NASA’s InSight spacecraft has sent back its first images after successfully landing on Mars on November 26.
The first one shows a view of the landscape while the lens cover was still on the camera (which will be removed soon). The dark specks are dust particles on the lens cover which were kicked up during the landing. The second image is much clearer, even though the lens cover was still on.
There will be more and better images in the days ahead, after the lens cover is removed. The landscape her in Elysium Planitia is very flat, but InSight needed to land in that kind of terrain order to use its instruments look below the surface for signs of geological activity such as volcanism or marsquakes.
With the solar panels now deployed, verything seems to be operating ok for InSight so far also, after a perfect landing.
“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.”
All of InSight’s raw images are posted here as they become available. More information about the mission is available here.
You can read my previous full article about the landing on AmericaSpace.