A CubeSat picture of Mars taken this month is the primary such picture to be captured by certainly one of two briefcase-sized spacecrafts NASA launched to the purple planet earlier this yr, the space agency reported this week.
The 2 aircrafts are formally known as MarCO-A and MarCO-B, which stands for Mars Dice One, and have been launched into area aboard a stationary lander known as InSight in Could.
According to NASA, CubeSats are a category of spacecraft which might be designed in accordance with a standardized small dimension and modular use of off-the-shelf applied sciences.
Dozens have been launched into Earth’s orbit, however scientists wished to see if they may efficiently ship the dual CubeSats, constructed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to Mars.
On Oct. 3, MarCO-B snapped the picture of the planet from a distance of roughly eight million miles with a wide-angle digicam.
“We have been ready six months to get to Mars,” mentioned Cody Colley, MarCO’s mission supervisor at JPL. “The cruise part of the mission is at all times troublesome, so you’re taking all of the small wins after they come. Lastly seeing the planet is certainly an enormous win for the workforce.”
The MarCO mission hopes to take extra photographs within the subsequent few months, earlier than InSight’s tried touchdown on Mars on Nov. 26, which is highlighted in a video posted by NASA.