Even Mars robots sometimes behave like tourists.
NASA's new InSight Lander has taken its first selfie from the Red Planet and given the mission team (and the rest of the world) a good view of the solar panels and sundeck now that it has settled.
InSight also returned the first full view of the 14 × 7-foot site, which will soon serve as a "work area".
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Even Mars robots sometimes behave like tourists. NASA's new InSight Lander has taken its first selfie from the Red Planet and given the mission team (and the rest of the world) a good view of the solar panels and sundeck now that it has settled
Each of the new pictures is a mosaic of several photos sewn together.
While the selfie captured by the robotic arm consists of eleven images, the workspace view includes 52 individual photos.
In this way, scientists can study the area well before InSight starts dropping the instruments and digging into the ground.
"The near absence of rocks, hills, and holes makes the instrument extremely safe for our instruments," said Bruce Banerdt, Investigator of InSight, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"This could be a pretty simple piece of land if it was not on Mars, but we're glad to see that."
InSight also returned the first full view of the 14 x 7-foot site, which will soon serve as a workspace displayed in the Blue Crescent. The team says it looks "extremely safe."
In the last week, InSight sent back the first of its observations – including a light clip overflowing the surface and images of the Martian winds.
All of this happens when the lander and the team behind the operations prepare to start work in the next few months.
At the moment InSight is taking steps.
The lander leaned this week with his 6 foot long arm and grabbed pictures of the terrain right in front of him.
"By gently swinging my arm around in front of me, I get a better view of the ground in front of me, where I'll do my job," the Nasa InSight account tweeted.
"Hypnotized by the play of light and shadow on my arm".
The data collected by InSight's Seismic Experiment (SEIS) in the months before it was lifted to the ground is ultimately used to suppress background noise, as Marsquakes are detected
Just a few days earlier, NASA discovered that the InSight Lander had captured the sound of a "dust devil" of the Martians during his first days on the red planet.
According to the space agency, we first heard Mars Winds.
It is estimated that the low rumble from northwest to southeast detected by InSight sensors is between 5 and 7 m / s (10 to 15 mph) – and the records are in the human ear.
NASA says that the sounds recorded on December 1 coincide with the dust devil stripes in the landing pad.
The vibrations were recorded at a very low pitch, although they can be heard with the sharp ears with headphones or subwoofers as they are.
To make it clearer, NASA raised the pitch by two octaves and audible on laptops and mobile devices.
The space agency shared a series of high-resolution photos from this week. InSight will soon capture pictures of the terrain just in front of it so that the team can select the best location to drill down. The solar panel that powers the machine is shown
While InSight did not intend to record the winds of Mars, the team says that this type of data collection goes along with the area.
The lander detected wind vibrations with two of its sensors: one to measure air pressure and a seismometer on deck.
"Recording this audio was an unplanned treat," says Bruce Banerdt, InSight chief investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.
"One of our goals, however, is to measure movement on Mars, including, of course, movements caused by sound waves."
According to the InSight team, the two different instruments recorded the noise in different ways.
This image shows some of the instruments visible in the selfie image sent back by InSight on the last Tuesday morning
INSIGHT'S THREE KEY INSTRUMENTS
The Lander, who was able to reveal how the Earth was formed: InSight Lander launched on 26 November for the landing of Mars
Three important tools will enable the InSight lander to take the pulse of the red planet:
seismometer: The InSight lander wears one seismometerSEIS, that listens to the pulse of Mars.
The seismometer detects the waves that move through the inner structure of a planet.
The study of seismic waves shows us what the waves could produce.
On Mars, scientists suspect that the culprits could be Marsquakes or meteorites hitting the surface.
Heat probe: InSight's HP3 heat flow probe drills deeper than any other scoop, drill or probe on Mars.
It is examined how much heat still flows from Mars.
Radio antennas: Like Earth, Mars wobbles a little as it turns around its axis.
To investigate, two radio antennas that are part of the RISE instrument closely track the lander's position.
This helps scientists test the planet's reflections and shows them how the deep internal structure affects the planet's motion around the sun.
While the Auxiliary Payload Sensor's air pressure sensor directly recorded the vibrations, the seismometer picked up vibrations caused by the wind passing through the lander's solar panels.
The data collected by InSight's Seismic Experiment (SEIS) in the months before it was lifted to the ground is ultimately used to suppress background noise, as Marsquakes are detected.
The short period (SP) silicon sensors detect vibrations at frequencies as high as 50 hertz, which are at the bottom of human hearing, NASA says.
"The InSight lander sounds like a huge ear," said Tom Pike, member of the InSight science team and sensor of Imperial College London.
"The solar panels on the side of the lander respond to pressure fluctuations of the wind.
"It's as if InSight is squatting with ears and listening to Mars beating on it, and if we look at the direction of the land oscillations emanating from the solar panels, it matches the expected wind direction at our landing site."
InSight landed in a region known as Elysium Planitia. The location of the map is not far from the landing site of Curiosity Mission 2012, the last NASA spacecraft to land on Mars
NASA's InSight Lander has finally removed the lens cover from the cameras, allowing the robot explorer to capture its most crisp images of its new home
The team has released both an unprocessed audio sample of the seismometer recording and a second version, which has been raised two octaves to make listening easier.
For the latter, the APSS sample was accelerated by a factor of 100.
According to the experts, the sound source is pretty straightforward; Oscillations that are detected by the instruments are similar to the changes in air pressure that you hear when a flag swirls in the wind.
"That's literally the sound – changes in air pressure," said Don Banfield InSight, APSS research director at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
"You always hear that when you talk to someone on the other side."