On May 5, NASA’s two Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats were launched on the agency’s InSight lander on May 5th to the Red Planet and a photo was taken on May 9th to help confirm Its high gain antenna is properly deployed.
The antenna is in the photo. The same is true of the Moon and Earth. The latter looks like a pale blue dot like it was a famous photograph taken by NASA’s Voyager 1 detector in 1990.
“Considering it is our respect for Voyager,” said Andy Klesh, chief engineer of Marco at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., in a statement.
“Cubesats has never entered space, so it is an important milestone. Our cubesats are healthy and functional. We look forward to seeing them further.”
In spite of similarity of the “pale blue dot” photographs, the two cubesats, MarCO-A and MarCO-B, are far less distant than the 1990 Traveller 1’s.
The old detector sees its iconic image from afar. NASA officials say that on May 8, MarCO-B photographed the newly released image.
The day before, the two cubesats satellites were about 620,000 miles away from Earth. (1 million kilometers), about 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers).
Cubesats have become relatively commonplace in Earth orbit, where they test various technologies, study Earth, and perform other tasks.
However, none of these small aircraft entered space until Marco’s twin ships completed.
The MarCO-A and MarCO-B built at JPL are performing demonstration missions – basically, the purpose of their handlers is to demonstrate that cubesats can indeed help to explore distant destinations.
They are also testing some specific technologies, including using the same propulsion system as the cold compressed gas common in fire extinguishers.
If all goes according to plan, Marco-A and Marco-B will fly over Mars on November 26, InSight at the key entrance, landing and landing (EDL) sequence arrives on the same day as the Red Planet.
The Marco team hopes that cubesats will help transfer InSight’s EDL data back to mission control on the earth, but this is not an important aspect of the lander mission; NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will also perform this relay function.
The team member stated that the MarCO spacecraft will conduct long-distance health checks after Mars flies for several weeks and then the mission will end.
However, InSight’s work will have just begun. Lander – An abbreviation for “Indoor exploration using seismic surveys, geodesy and heat transfer” – Three different experiments will be performed to investigate the internal structure and composition of Mars, which is roughly the main task of the two-year Earth year.
NASA officials stated that InSight’s observations should help researchers better understand how rock planets are formed and evolved.