NASA's InSight sends back a breathtaking photo of Mars


The NASA space shuttle that landed Monday on Mars sent back its first clear picture of the desolate red planet.

"There is a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home, "NASA tweeted late Monday, a few hours after the landing of his new InSight lander.

The picture came after the rover had returned a slightly fuzzy photo. The space agency said that in the meantime, the probe had opened its solar panels, which allowed it to recharge its batteries for the mission.

"Our Mars Odyssey orbiter phoned home, relaying @NASAInSight news that its solar panels are open and capturing sunlight on the Martian surface," NASA wrote in its tweet. "Also in the dispatch: this snapshot of the LG's arm shows the instruments in their new home."

The InSight probe landed on Mars Monday after six months of travel on the planet. The dispatch that included the first clear picture of Mars from the mission was relayed to Earth by the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

"The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight, as we know that the spacecraft's solar panels are deployed and are recharging the batteries," said Tom Hoffman, project manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory's NASA, who leads the mission, in a statement.

Other images of the red planet could be sent back in the coming days.

The mission team will soon deploy InSight's robotic arm and use the attached camera to take photos of the terrain so that scientists can determine where to place the spacecraft's instruments, NASA said.

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