MarCO CubeSats Worked as Planned During InSight Mars Landing

Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu

Safely on Mars, InSight unfolds its arrays and snaps some pics

In another milestone event in the global endeavours towards exploring Mars, NASA's robotic Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet in the early hours of November 27 (IST) after an nearly seven-month 458-million-km journey from Earth.

NASA said, "This image was taken at about 12:10 p.m. PST (3:10 p.m. EST) while MarCO-B was flying away from the planet after InSight landed", and the satellite was almost 4,700 miles away from Mars when the photo was snapped.

However, for now, we all are celebrating the successful landing of InSight on the planet and excited to see many more images of the Mars' interior. That atmosphere causes interference to change the signal when it's received on Earth, a way for scientists to detect how much atmosphere is present and even its composition. "They were an excellent test of how CubeSats can serve as "tag-alongs" on future missions, giving engineers up-to-the-minute feedback during a landing". After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight's entry, descent and landing. This will help mission scientists determine where it will place instruments. These changes will ensure that operations are supported for one full Mars year which translates in two Earth years. As MarCO-A flew by, it conducted some impromptu radio science, transmitting signals through the edge of Mars' atmosphere.

He's looking forward to unearthing more secrets from the universe.

"CubeSats have incredible potential to carry cameras and science instruments out to deep space", said John Baker, JPL's program manager for small spacecraft.

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Trebi-Ollennu's interest in spacecraft developed when he was growing up in Ghana.

'InSight will study the interior of Mars, and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars.

As a bonus, some consumer-grade cameras aboard MarCO provided "drive-by" images as the CubeSats sailed past Mars. The satellite - has been named as cubesat - and the photo is named as MarCO-B and it performed quite the service for humanity before saying goodbye to Mars.

The moment the $993 million unmanned lander, named InSight, touched down on the red planet on Monday afternoon, celebrations began across the globe - but one in particular has captivated audiences. It also attempted to snap some photos of Mars' moons, Phobos and Deimos.

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