NASA breaks record with new photo of Earth

Ученые на Земле нашли следы древних инопланетян из Марса

Ученые на Земле нашли следы древних инопланетян из Марса

NASA likens the MarCO-B image to a classic one taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 showing Earth as a "Pale Blue Dot" from several billion miles away. The image, which shows both the CubeSat's unfolded high-gain antenna at right and the Earth and its moon in the center, was taken by MarCO-B on May 9.

NASA scientists weren't doing this for sport, but to see if the cubesat's antenna had unfolded - and worked.

'The atmosphere of Mars is only one percent that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it's already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000ft (30,480m) up'.

One of NASA's two Mars Cube One (MarCO) cubesats, which launched toward the Red Planet along with the agency's InSight lander on May 5, took a photo on May 9 to help confirm that its high-gain antenna had deployed properly.

This first MarCO image of Earth comes only a few days after the satellites' first radio call from outer space.

"CubeSats have never gone this far into space before, so it's a big milestone", Klesh pointed out. They are now traveling towards Mars in support of NASA's InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) robotic lander, which will attempt to touch down on the Red Planet on November 26. However, Mars Cube One is the first CubeSat created to operate in deep space.

Ученые на Земле нашли следы древних инопланетян из Марса

"Consider it our homage to Voyager", MarCO chief engineer Andy Klesh, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said in a statement.

While the small CubeSats, MarCO-A and MarCO-B are not going to be the principal communications link with the InSight mission, NASA is confident that their capabilities can prove a useful array of technologies that might permit future deep space missions to conduct their individual data communications.

As for MarCO-A and MarCO-B, they represent a premiere in the CubeSat's world.

Tiny satellites named Wall-E and Eva are about to take a trip to Mars. MarCO's job is to act as a kind of chaperone to InSight Lander as it approaches Mars. While the lander's $813-million mission will carry on for about two years, studying the planet's subsurface structure and its seismic activity, the $18.5 million MarCO mission will end soon after the satellites' arrival on Mars.

"Exploring the Red Planet with NASA's Mars Helicopter exemplifies a successful marriage of science and technology innovation and is a unique opportunity to advance Mars exploration for the future", said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency headquarters in Washington via an agency-issued release. If all goes according to plan, the craft will make four more flights over the course of a 30-day test campaign, each progressively longer and more complex than the first.

NASA shared the image on Tuesday.

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