NASA's InSight Lander Captures a Magnificent View of Mars at Sunrise
The InSight Mars lander, operated by NASA, just shared an incredible sight. On April 10, it captured a magnificent image of a sunrise on Mars. InSight is NASA's first mission to investigate Mars' interior — its crust, mantle, and core — in depth. It has been present on Mars since late 2018.
InSight, which stands for "Innards Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport," is a Mars lander that explores quakes and the planet's interior. In November 2018, the lander landed in Mars' Elysium Planitia area. The probe has already completed its primary mission of one Martian year, which is equivalent to around 687 days on Earth. It is now in its prolonged phase, with plenty of opportunities to practice its photography talents.
According to NASA, InSight has measured hundreds of "marsquakes" during its mission. It has also probed unexplained magnetic pulses on Mars and photographed breathtaking sights such as the Martian sunrise.
"What we're learning from InSight will not only show how planets like Mars first formed, but it will also help us comprehend the Red Planet's patterns as we prepare to send humans to Mars on future NASA missions," the agency stated.
NASA's other missions, including the Perseverance rover and its companion, the Ingenuity helicopter, have also been investigating Mars. The rover has been gathering rock samples in preparation for a future human mission to recover and return them to Earth. All of these efforts are targeted at identifying evidence of ancient or microbial life on Mars and determining whether it can support human habitation in the same way that Earth can.
Perseverance and ingenuity are being used to explore Mars' Jezero Crater, a dry lake that scientists believe may contain information about possible past life.