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NASA's InSight Landing Spacecraft takes its first selfie on Mars |



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The picture is a mosaic of 11 pictures.

NASA's InSight Lander is not camera-friendly. The spacecraft took a camera on his robotic arm to take his first selfie – a mosaic of 11 images. (NASA image "Mars InSight Mission")

(NASA) – NASA's InSight Lander is not camera-friendly. The spacecraft took a camera on his robotic arm to take his first selfie – a mosaic of eleven images.

This is the same imaging process that NASA's Curiosity Rover mission uses to capture many overlapping images and later merge them together

Selfie shows the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its scientific instruments. Members of the mission team got their first full view of InSight's "workspace" – the 4 x 2 meter crescent of the terrain just outside the spacecraft.

This image is also a mosaic of 52 individual photos.

In the coming weeks, scientists and engineers will decide through the arduous process of deciding where to place the spacecraft instruments in this work area.

Then, order InSight's robotic arm. Carefully place the Seismometer (called Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure or SEIS) and the Heat Flow Probe (known as the Heat Flow and Physical Property Pack or HP3) at the selected locations. Both work best on level ground, and engineers want to avoid being placed on stones over 1.3 cm in diameter.

"The absence of stones, hills and holes means that it's extremely safe" Our instruments, "said InSight's principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"This could be a pretty easy ground if it was not on Mars, but we're glad to see that."

The InSight landing team deliberately chose a landing region in Elysium Planitia that is relatively free of rocks Nevertheless, the landing site turned out even better than hoped.

The spaceship sits in a seemingly almost stone-free "hollow" – a depression caused by a meteor impact that later became filled with sand – this was supposed to be an InSight Instrument, the heat flow probe, to drill to its target of 5 meters (5 meters) below the surface.

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