【NASA火星探测器传回最新图像】

【NASA火星探测器传回最新图像】已在火星着陆的InSight探测器日前发回了最新的火星图像,让科学家能更清晰地观察着陆地点。通过其机器臂上安装的摄像头lander-mount, Instrument Context Camera (ICC)和Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC),拍摄了着落地点的图像,待InSight将镜头上的灰尘去掉,它就会开始传回分辨率更高的图像。NASA表示图像中这片这片荒凉的土地正是其所期待的环境,周围岩石碎片少,InSight可更顺利地展开挖掘,探索火星表面以下的世界。

NASA's InSight lander shares new images from Mars as it flexes its robotic arm on the red planet

  • The latest InSight images show a clearer look at the Martian landscape where it will soon begin digging
  • The InSight team says the barren expanse is what they were hoping for, with few large rocks to get in the way
  • Once InSight removes the dust covers from its lenses, it will begin to send back higher-resolution images  

NASA’s InSight lander is now settling into its new home on Mars, and sending pictures back to Earth all the while.

The latest snapshots show our clearest look yet at the site where the new lander has planted its feet.

While it might not look like much, the desolate landscape is exactly what the team was hoping for; with minimal rocky debris around, InSight will have a better shot at digging into the surface.

NASA’s InSight lander is now settling into its new home on Mars, and sending pictures back to Earth all the while. The latest snapshots show our clearest look yet at the site where the new lander has planted its feet

NASA’s InSight lander is now settling into its new home on Mars, and sending pictures back to Earth all the while. The latest snapshots show our clearest look yet at the site where the new lander has planted its feet

InSight has so far shared a handful of grainy images using its lander-mounted, Instrument Context Camera (ICC) and the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) on its robotic arm.

The latest show the area directly in front of it, along with a look at some of its instruments.

‘The science team had been hoping to land in a sandy area with few rocks since we chose the landing site, so we couldn’t be happier,’ said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman of JPL.

‘There are no landing pads or runways on Mars, so coming down in an area that is basically a large sandbox without any large rocks should make instrument deployment easier and provide a great place for our mole to start burrowing.’

Its first image similarly captured a look at the Martian horizon, though largely obscured by dust and shadows.

InSight has so far shared a handful of grainy images using its lander-mounted, Instrument Context Camera (ICC) and the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) on its robotic arm (shown). The latest show the area directly in front of it, along with a look at some of its instruments

At the time, it had just touched down on the planet, and snapped a photo before removing its lens cap.

Eventually, InSight will take the dust covers off and start sending home clearer images. Once the lens caps are off, they’re off for good.

‘We are looking forward to higher-definition pictures to confirm this preliminary assessment,’ said JPL’s Bruce Banerdt, principal investigator of InSight.

‘If these few images – with resolution-reducing dust covers on – are accurate, it bodes well for both instrument deployment and the mole penetration of our subsurface heat-flow experiment.’

The $1 billion new Mars lander arrived to the red planet on November 26, surviving a nerve-wracking ‘six and a half minutes of terror,’ when it broke through the Martian atmosphere and was subjected to temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA's latest interplanetary probe has sent its first selfie from the barren surface of Mars. The photograph shows part of the probe and the Martian surface in the distance

This image shows some of the instruments visible in the selfie image sent back to Earth by InSight early last Tuesday morning

Its descent started just before 3pm EST (8pm GMT), with helpless scientists waiting on the final word from a pair of orbiters dubbed Wall-E and Eve to confirm touchdown.

Less than eight minutes after breaking through the atmosphere at 12,300 miles per hour, the team confirmed it had successfully made it to the surface, slowing to just 5mph before putting its feet on the ground.

Scientists could be seen jumping and cheering in the control room as they marked the successful landing, with more than a few wiping tears from their eyes.

InSight's touchdown marks NASA's eighth successful landing on the red planet.

Experts hope the mission will be the first to unlock geological secrets of the planet's hidden core, using a probe to dig 16ft (5m) beneath the surface.

A seismometer containing sensors designed and made at Imperial College in London and tested at Oxford University will also examine the impact of earthquakes and meteorite strikes.

While NASA has numerous Mars landings under its belt, similar attempts have proved a difficult hurdle for many missions.

The Soviet Union never managed to land on Mars, and both attempts by the European Space Agency flopped. By contrast, just one of Nasa's previous eight attempts have failed.

InSight stands to 'revolutionize the way we think about the inside of the planet,' said NASA's science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen.

In a press conference following the landing confirmation, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the InSight team, and revealed even the president and vice president had tuned in.

‘They are overwhelmingly proud of what has gone on here today,’ Bridenstine said.

‘What an amazing day.’

Astronauts aboard the ISS also called in to admit they got goosebumps watching the coverage, as the world braced itself for the news of the lander's fate.

Despite extensive preparation, Earth's success rate at Mars sits at just 40 percent, including planetary flybys dating back to the early 1960s, as well as orbiters and landers.

'Any time you're trying to land on Mars, it's crazy, frankly. I don't think there's a sane way to do it,' InSight's project manager, Tom Hoffman said ahead of the successful event.

Now, with InSight successfully planted on the red planet, it can soon begin digging to analyze the mysterious world beneath the Martian surface.

The first instrument InSight demonstrated was its camera - albeit with the lens cap still on. ‘My first picture on #Mars!’ the InSight account tweeted after landing, alongside a grainy photo of a reddish brown background. The space agency released a high resolution version not long after

InSight touched down in a region known as Elysium Planitia. Its location can be seen in the map above, not far from the landing site of the 2012 Curiosity mission, the last NASA probe to land on Mars

InSight touched down in a region known as Elysium Planitia. Its location can be seen in the map above, not far from the landing site of the 2012 Curiosity mission, the last NASA probe to land on Mars

‘In the years and the coming months, the history books will be rewritten about the interior of Mars,' Hoffman said during the conference.

The team will now scout out the right spot for InSight to put down its seismometers so it can begin collecting data.

'Now that we’re on the surface of Mars, we have a lot of work to do,' Elizabeth Barrett, InSight Science Instruments Ops, explained during the press conference.

The robot will go through an initial assessment phase to check on its overall health and the health of its instruments before it can move on to the deployment phase.

A Nasa satellite orbiting the red planet relayed images of InSight from its landing site, known as Elysium Planitia, back to Earth at 8:30pm EST (1:30am GMT). MarCO-B, one of two experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of the Red Planet on November 26, 2018

A Nasa satellite orbiting the red planet relayed images of InSight from its landing site, known as Elysium Planitia, back to Earth at 8:30pm EST (1:30am GMT). MarCO-B, one of two experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of the Red Planet on November 26, 2018

Then, once its finally time to deploy its suite of instruments, that process alone is expected to take two to three months.

InSight will place its seismometer, and only once the team is happy with its location and initial operations will it return to the deck to get its wind and thermal shields, which will sit atop the seismometer for protection.

The lander will then pick up the heat probe to bring to the surface, before beginning its historic dig.

Eventually, once it's all settled in, Barrett says we'll be 'sitting back listening for Mars quakes.'

原文链接:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6455669/NASAs-InSight-spacecraft-shares-new-images-Mars-flexes-robotic-arm-red-planet.html


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