Skip to comments.Tiny, Mars-bound satellite snaps its first image of Earth and the Moon
Posted on 05/20/2018 7:13:18 PM PDT by ETL
A tiny satellite on its way to Mars has opened its eyes and captured a view of home.
One of NASA's two Mars Cube One (MarCO) cubesats, which launched toward the Red Planet along with the agency's InSight lander on May 5, took a photo on May 9 to help confirm that its high-gain antenna had deployed properly.
The antenna is in the photo. And so are the moon and Earth, the latter of which appears as a pale blue dot, just as it did in a famous photo taken by NASA's Voyager 1 probe in 1990. ..." (snip)
Despite the "pale blue dot" photos' similarity, the two cubesats, known as MarCO-A and MarCO-B, are nowhere near as far afield as Voyager 1 was back in 1990.
The older probe [Voyager 1] took its iconic image from a distance of about 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers), whereas the two cubesats were about 620,000 miles (1 million km) from Earth on May 8, the day before MarCO-B snapped the newly released image, NASA officials said.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
In 1990, the Voyager 1 space probe took a picture of the earth, named as the Pale Blue Dot from 3.7 billion miles away.
Looks flat to me.
how large are these two satellites?
It’s clearly a donut.
I was looking at that photo thinking “well at least the light from the shade, will be dimming as the telescope flies further away from the sun”.
Until it dawned on my, it will actually be getting brighter, then.
I guess the telescope will be somewhat limited on it’s view, for the most light-sensitive shots, to only 180% degree or just shy of that.
OK, so the earth is not round.
I see my house!
On May 5, 2018, NASA launched a stationary lander called InSight to Mars. Riding along with InSight were two CubeSats — the first of this kind of spacecraft to fly to deep space. If this flyby demonstration is successful, the technology onboard each CubeSat will provide NASA the ability to quickly transmit status information about InSight as it lands on Mars.
The twin communications-relay CubeSats, built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, constitute a technology demonstration called Mars Cube One (MarCO). CubeSats are a class of spacecraft based on a standardized small size and modular use of off-the-shelf technologies. Many have been made by university students, and dozens have been launched into Earth orbit using extra payload mass available on launches of larger spacecraft.
The basic CubeSat unit is a box roughly 4 inches (10 centimeters) square. Larger CubeSats are multiples of that unit. MarCO’s design is a six-unit CubeSat - about the size of a briefcase — with a stowed size of about 14.4 inches (36.6 centimeters) by 9.5 inches (24.3 centimeters) by 4.6 inches (11.8 centimeters).
I can see Russia and your house!
They must have equipped the satellite with an iPhone X ...
Looks like you can unscrew one half from the other. I wonder what they’d find inside if they can one day manage to do it. Might find an entire alien civilization. :)
Very small indeed.
These are neat.
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