After quite the journey, NASA’s InSight has landed on Mars. But what’s a trip without a happy snap?
While we savoured a dusty photo beamed back to Earth shortly after its landing, the spacecraft has sent another photo home, showing us a clearer glimpse of the red planet’s surface.
The lander also relayed signals back to base, indicating that it has opened its solar panels and is collecting sunlight, allowing it to recharge.
“The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are deployed and recharging the batteries,” Tom Hoffman, InSight’s project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement online.
“It’s been a long day for the team. But tomorrow begins an exciting new chapter for InSight: surface operations and the beginning of the instrument deployment phase.”
The onboard camera will be used in the coming days to snap photos of the ground, which will allow engineers to figure out where to place instruments to gather data about Mars’ mysterious surface.
It could be about three or four months before InSight starts sending back that information, so in the meantime, enjoy the view.