Greetings from Mars


InSight takes a selfie.


Looking back, looking down: InSight's self-portrait.

Looking back, looking down: InSight's self-portrait.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Combining a total of 11 photographs taken by a camera positioned on its robotic arm, NASA’s InSight lander, recently arrived on Mars, has created its first self-portrait.

The resulting image shows the lander’s solar panels and its entire deck, including its science instruments.

Sources at mission control also report that InSight has transmitted a 52-image mosaic that shows its landing site and the four-by-two-metre space directly in front of it that will become the craft’s work space.

And, thus far at least, it’s all good news. The ground is flat, even and very dull.

“The near-absence of rocks, hills and holes means it’ll be extremely safe for our instruments,” said principal investigator Bruce Banerdt.

“This might seem like a pretty plain piece of ground if it weren’t on Mars, but we’re glad to see that.”

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