Friday 20 September 2019

Scientists purr over first images from 'boring location' on Mars

 

A photo taken by the probe. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/PA Wire
A photo taken by the probe. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/PA Wire

Marcia Dunn

Minutes after touching down on Mars, Nasa's InSight spacecraft sent back a "nice and dirty" snapshot of its new digs. Yet the dust-speckled image looked like a work of art to scientists.

The photo revealed a mostly smooth and sandy terrain around the spacecraft with only one sizeable rock visible.

"I'm very happy that it looks like we have an incredibly safe and boring landing location," project manager Tom Hoffman said. "That's what we were going for."

A better image came hours later and more are expected in the days ahead, after the dust covers come off the lander's cameras.

Lead scientist Bruce Banerdt said he doesn't expect to start getting a stream of solid data until late next spring.

Irish Independent

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