Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

NASA's MarCO-B CubeSat Captures Earth-Moon Image

Уфолог заметил летающую тарелку на снимках Марса The expert is sure that Mars is a desert planet
Elijah Vega | 17 May, 2018, 17:38

NASA said the image is meant to honor the "pale blue dot" photo proposed by famed physicist Carl Sagan and taken by the Voyager spacecraft in 1990.

Earth appears as a pale blue speck, and to its left is an even fainter speck: our moon. The image helped mission engineers confirm that the spacecraft's high-gain antenna had unfolded properly. MarCO's job is to act as a kind of chaperone to InSight Lander as it approaches Mars. The Voyage 1 took the image when it was at a distance of 3.7 billion miles from the Earth.

The snapped photo features the antenna, the moon, and the Earth.

MarCO-B - nicknamed Wall-E by spacecraft engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory - acquired this image on May 9, 2018.

The cubesats - formally called MarCO-A and MarCO-B - have a ways to go.

"CubeSats have never gone this far into space before, so it's a big milestone", Klesh pointed out.

MarCO's softball-size radio provides both UHF (receive only) and X-band (receive and transmit) functions capable of immediately relaying information received over UHF. "We're looking forward to seeing them travel even farther", Klesh added. This will be the first time CubeSats have flown in deep space.

Though they were originally developed to teach university students about satellites, CubeSats are now a major commercial technology, providing data on everything from shipping routes to environmental changes.

An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space.

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Many think that it could be capable of supporting life which is why NASA launched its special mission known as InSight Mars on May 5, to search the Red Planet, together with the rovers, as well as check the soil and inner chemistry of the planet.

InSight is a lander that will drop down to Mars and examine its interior by taking seismic readings. The twin, counter-rotating blades will spin at nearly 3,000 revolutions per minute, or 10 times faster than the rate of a helicopter on Earth.

"Should they make it all the way to Mars, they will radio back data about InSight while it enters the atmosphere and descends to the planet's surface".

The picture was shot by the satellite with its fisheye camcorder and then hauled back to Earth as the ground control team mounted its long-range antenna successfully on May 9th.

InSight won't rely on the MarCO mission for data relay.

NASA's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said, "The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for our future science, discovery and exploration missions to Mars". They're also testing a few specific technologies, including a propulsion system that uses the same cold, compressed gas commonly found in fire extinguishers.

Later this month, NASA said, the MarCOs will attempt the first trajectory correction maneuvers ever performed by CubeSats.

"This maneuver lets them steer towards Mars, blazing a trail for CubeSats to come", the space agency stated in a news release.

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