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NASA spots InSight Mars lander and Curiosity rover from space (photos)

17 Oct 2019, 11:52 UTC
NASA spots InSight Mars lander and Curiosity rover from space (photos)
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The HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter got its best view yet of the agency’s InSight lander on 23 September 2019. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
New photos give us the best-ever look at NASA’s InSight lander on the surface of Mars and show the route the agency’s Curiosity rover is taking up a big Red Planet mountain.
The imagery comes courtesy of the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which has been circling the Red Planet since March 2006.
HiRISE has been studying Elysium Planitia — the equatorial site where InSight touched down in November 2018 — in an attempt to document changes in the landscape, such as dust devil trails, NASA officials said. And the camera managed to capture a great view of InSight during such work last month.
“Taken on Sept. 23, 2019, at an altitude of 169 miles (272 kilometres) above the surface, the new image is NASA’s best view yet of InSight from space,” NASA officials wrote on 16 October in a description of the newly released photo. “It clearly shows the two circular solar panels on either side of the lander body, spanning 20 feet (six metres) from end to end.”

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