InSight’s first image


History is made on Mars.


First light: Mars upon InSight’s arrival.

First light: Mars upon InSight’s arrival.

NASA/JPL-CalTech

There’s dust all over the lens and a fair bit more floating around, but this blurry image was still enough to send the normally staid folk at NASA into loud paroxysms of joy.

It was transmitted, via two nearby CubeSats, from the InSight lander just minutes after it successfully touched down in Mars after a seven month journey of 458 million kilometres.

Taken using its Instrument Context Camera, the image shows a small rock in the immediate foreground, then a 124-degree curved view across the landscape of the region known as the Elysium Planitia, followed by an arc of pale sky.

Many more detailed images, as well as geologic, atmospheric and seismic date, are set to follow, but InSight will be operating in low intensity mode for the next couple of weeks, while the dust thrown up by its arrival gradually settles and the view clear.

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