APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

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APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:06 am

Image InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars

Explanation: This is what NASA's Insight lander looks like on Mars. With its solar panels, InSight is about the size of a small bus. Insight successfully landed on Mars in November with a main objective to detect seismic activity. The featured selfie is a compilation of several images taken of different parts of the InSight lander, by the lander's arm, at different times. SEIS, the orange-domed seismometer seen near the image center last month, has now been placed on the Martian surface. With this selfie, Mars InSight continues a long tradition of robotic spacecraft on Mars taking and returning images of themselves, including Viking, Sojourner, Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix, and Curiosity. Data taken by Mars Insight is expected to give humanity unprecedented data involving the interior of Mars, a region thought to harbor formation clues not only about Mars, but Earth.

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:54 am

Awesome another lander... it looks like a mechanical "bird" with a brown beak...and solar panel "wings"....I hope it does a good job...

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by tomatoherd » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:58 pm

That's a lot of rovers (and $) for a planet we will absolutely never be able to terraform. IMHO should be spending it on Venus....

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by HellCat » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:17 pm

This is what Insight looked like LAST MONTH. ... If taken today, SEIS would be seen on the image surface.

PLEASE consider getting the English / writing department involved. The way this paragraph is written can be interpreted as having SEIS already on the surface, confusing anyone without a better understanding of the lander.

Humbly submitted as an "insight" for improvement.

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by JohnD » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:11 pm

Hellcat,
Quote,
" SEIS, the orange-domed seismometer seen near the image center last month, has now been placed on the Martian surface."
Please, parse that sentence and rephrase to give another interpretation.
JOhn

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:52 pm

tomatoherd wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:58 pm
That's a lot of rovers (and $) for a planet we will absolutely never be able to terraform. IMHO should be spending it on Venus....
Who cares if we can terraform it? That's not why we are studying it, and there's a LOT more to learn at Mars than Venus.
Chris

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by neufer » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:36 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:52 pm

there's a LOT more to learn at Mars than Venus.
It's certainly a lot easier to work on the surface of Mars than of Venus
but why is "there a LOT more to learn" :?:
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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:03 am

neufer wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:36 am
Chris Peterson wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:52 pm

there's a LOT more to learn at Mars than Venus.
It's certainly a lot easier to work on the surface of Mars than of Venus
but why is "there a LOT more to learn" :?:
Because Mars exposes a lot of old surface, so we can study the history of the planet, and make important inferences about our own planet and terrestrial planets in general. Venus presents little or no geologic history. And, of course, Mars offers the very real possibility of having once supported life, and evidence of that could be preserved. Even if Venus ever had life, that evidence is long gone.
Chris

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by MarkBour » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:09 am

tomatoherd wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:58 pm
That's a lot of rovers (and $) for a planet we will absolutely never be able to terraform. IMHO should be spending it on Venus....
What next mission would you like to see sent to Venus?
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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:17 am

I'd be interested in an experiment investigating whether the US federal government could operate more efficiently, or less, from the surface of Venus. If funding is an issue, it could be limited to the executive branch.

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Re: APOD: InSight Lander Takes Selfie on Mars (2019 Jan 21)

Post by rstevenson » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:36 pm

I downloaded the hi-def image and had a look at it in my image editor. The image is quite sharp in only the center bottom area, and gets progressively less sharp as you move up and to the left or right. I can't recall seeing that in similar selfies taken by other rovers. Anyone know why it's so in this image? Is the camera perhaps restricted in its range of motion?

Rob

[edit, a few minutes later]

The camera seems not to be limited in its range of motion. Here, from the Insight's web page, is a description of it...
A camera on the arm is called the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC). It is similar to the Navcam navigation cameras onboard the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, with full color capability added. It has a 45-degree field of view, and provides a panoramic view of the terrain surrounding the landing site. This camera will image the workspace in detail to support the selection of the best spots to place down the instruments. This camera will take color images of the instruments on the lander's deck and a 3-D view of the region around the lander. Information received from the Navcam helps engineers and scientists guide the deployment of the seismometer and the heat flow probe. Scientists can point the camera in any direction, so it can take images to be combined into a 360-degree panorama of the lander's surroundings.
So that makes the lack of sharpness in much of the image even more puzzling. :shock: