Solar Flare
Nasa's InSight lander has sent back its first full selfie while sitting on Mars. The robot has sent back stunning photos of the world that just became its home, as well as the first audio of the Martian wind.

And now it has sent back a whole photo of itself, sat on the planet and getting ready to work. Or, more accurately, it sent back 11 photos that were stitched together to get a look at the lander as it is on the surface."The first selfie!" it tweeted alongside the photo. "I’m feeling healthy, energized and whole. This is me on Mars."
If all goes according to plan, InSight will hurtle through the top of the thin Martian atmosphere at 12,000 miles per hour. Slowed by friction, deployment of a giant parachute and retro rockets, InSight will descend 77 miles through pink Martian skies to the surface in 6 1/2 minutes, travelling a mere 5 mph (8 kph) by the time it lands.
Solar Flare
The stationary probe, launched in May from California, will then pause for 16 minutes for the dust to settle, literally, around its landing site, before disc-shaped solar panels are unfurled like wings to provide power to the spacecraft.
Cassiopeia A c
The mission control team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles hopes to receive real-time confirmation of the craft's arrival from data relayed by a pair of miniature satellites that were launched along with InSight and will be flying past Mars. The JPL controllers also expect to receive a photograph of the probe's new surroundings on the flat, smooth Martian plain close to the planet's equator called the Elysium Planitia.
Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy
The site is roughly 373 miles (600 km) from the 2012 landing spot of the car-sized Mars rover Curiosity, the last spacecraft sent to the Red Planet by NASA. The smaller, 880-pound (360 kg) InSight its name is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport marks the 21st U.S.launched Mars missions, dating back to the Mariner fly-bys of the 1960s. Nearly two dozen other Mars missions have been sent from other nations.
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The InSight will spend 24 months about one Martian year using seismic monitoring and underground temperature readings to unlock mysteries about how Mars formed and, by extension, the origins of the Earth and other rocky planets of the inner solar system. While Earth's tectonics and other forces have erased most evidence of its early history, much of Mars about one-third the size of Earth is believed to have remained largely static, creating a geologic time machine for scientists.
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InSight's primary instrument is a French-built seismometer, designed to record the slightest vibrations from "marsquakes" and meteor impacts around the planet. The device, to be placed on the surface by the lander's robot arm, is so sensitive it can measure a seismic wave just one half the radius of a hydrogen atom.
Veil Nebula Supernova Remnant
Scientists expect to see a dozen to 100 marsquakes during the mission, producing data to help them deduce the depth, density and composition of the planet's core, the rocky mantle surrounding it, and the outermost layer, the crust. The NASA Viking probes of the mid-1970s were equipped with seismometers, too, but they were bolted to the top of the landers, a design that proved largely ineffective.
A Hubble Cosmic Couple
Apollo missions to the moon brought seismometers to the lunar surface as well. But InSight is expected to yield the first meaningful data on planetary seismic tremors beyond Earth.InSight also is fitted with a German-made drill to burrow as much as 16 feet (5 meters) underground, pulling behind it a rope-like thermal probe to measure heat flowing from inside the planet. Meanwhile, a radio transmitter will send back signals tracking Mars' subtle rotational wobble to reveal the size of the planet's core and possibly whether it remains molten.NASA officials say it will take two to three months for the main instruments to be deployed and put into operation.
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