NASA reveals new images of its InSight lander preparing for work

NASA’s InSight lander has finally removed the lens cover from its cameras, allowing the robotic explorer to take its clearest pictures yet of its new home.

The space agency shared a series of high-resolution photos captured this week, including a view of the two tiny chips that carried the names of more than 2 million people to the red planet.

InSight will soon begin snapping images of the terrain directly in front of it, so the team can select the best location to drill down.

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NASA’s InSight lander has finally removed the lens cover from its cameras, allowing the robotic explorer to take its clearest pictures yet of its new home. The space agency shared a series of high-resolution photos captured this week, including a view of the two tiny chips that carried the names of more than 2 million people to the red planet

NASA’s InSight lander has finally removed the lens cover from its cameras, allowing the robotic explorer to take its clearest pictures yet of its new home. The space agency shared a series of high-resolution photos captured this week, including a view of the two tiny chips that carried the names of more than 2 million people to the red planet

‘We’re ON MARS, you guys,’ InSight’s Twitter account posted today. ‘You’re all honorary Martians.’

The latest images are a far cry from its first few snapshots, which were obscured by dust and the protective covers.

Now, the lander is showing it’s ready to get to work.

‘Today we can see the first glimpses of our workspace,’ said Bruce Benerdy, the mission’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

‘By early next week, we’ll be imaging it in finer detail and creating a full mosaic.’

The robotic arm can stretch nearly 6 feet long, and will soon be used to take the science instruments off the deck, and place them on the ground.

‘We’re ON MARS, you guys,’ InSight’s Twitter account posted today. ‘You’re all honorary Martians.’

The lander snapped a new picture of its robotic arm, this time showing a much clearer view

InSight is carrying two chips containing the names of more than 2 million people (left) ‘We’re ON MARS, you guys,’ InSight’s Twitter account posted today. ‘You’re all honorary Martians.’ The lander also snapped a new picture of its robotic arm, this time showing a much clearer view

This process will take two to three months. InSight’s other camera, which sits below the deck, will also be used to take pictures of its workspace – but, the Instrument Context Camera managed to get a little dusty somewhere along the way.

‘We had a protective cover on the Instrument Context Camera, but somehow dust still managed to get onto the lens,’ said Tom Hoffman, InSight’s project manager.

‘While this is unfortunate, it will not affect the role of the camera, which is to take images of the area in front of the area in front of the lander where our instruments will eventually be placed.’

So far, InSight has been operating with utmost care; the team has it programmed to pause what it’s doing and ask for help if it encounters anything unexpected.

The robotic arm can stretch nearly 6 feet long, and will soon be used to take the science instruments off the deck, and place them on the ground. A partial view of the deck is shown

The robotic arm can stretch nearly 6 feet long, and will soon be used to take the science instruments off the deck, and place them on the ground. A partial view of the deck is shown

INSIGHT'S THREE KEY INSTRUMENTS

The lander that could reveal how Earth was formed: InSight lander set for Mars landing on november 26th

The lander that could reveal how Earth was formed: InSight lander set for Mars landing on november 26th

Three key instruments will allow the InSight lander to 'take the pulse' of the red planet:

Seismometer: The InSight lander carries a seismometer, SEIS, that

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