Camera InSight sent the first "self" Mars

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NASA's InSight spacecraft has used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie - a mosaic made up of 11 images, the USA space agency said.

Ever since NASA's InSight landed on Mars' surface, it has been impressing everyone with some amusing things which no other spacecraft has been capable of.

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This image shows InSight's solar panels and deck; on top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna.

The blue strips you see above show the potential target areas for InSight's seismometer and heat-flow probe. Such a maneuver has never been performed before; all previous Mars robots have toted their scientific gear on their bodies and/or arms.

"The InSight lander acts like a giant ear", said Tom Pike, InSight science team member and sensor designer at Imperial College London.

Doesn't look like much, but that's how the InSight team likes it.

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The InSight lander used the arm to snapped a series of pictures that NASA turned into a stunning mosaic released this week. Image released December 11, 2018.

"This might seem like a pretty plain piece of ground if it weren't on Mars, but we're glad to see that", Mr Banerdt added. The spacecraft sits in what appears to be a almost rock-free "hollow" - a depression created by a meteor impact that later filled with sand. InSight will dig some 16 feet (five meters) below where it is situated with its heat-flow-probe.

InSight also sent back a mosaic of images of its workspace - the approximately 14 x 7-foot (4 x 2 m) crescent of terrain directly in front of the spacecraft.

The $850 million InSight mission launched in May, along with two fly-along cubesats named MarCO-A and MarCO-B. It is hoped data provided by InSight will give scientists back on Earth a better understanding of how terrestrials planets like our own are formed.

InSight's main goal is to map the interior of Mars in unprecedented detail, helping scientists better understand the planet's composition and structure.

This is stated on the official website of NASA.

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