New photographs have taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are offering recent views of NASA’s Insight lander and the Curiosity rover on the Martian surface. The Alternative rover died last year after being smothered by dust, which implies NASA has merely two robotic probes currently investigating the Martian floor: the six-wheeled Curiosity rover and the stationary InSight lander. Flying above in space, however, is NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which commonly scans the Martian surface in search of new things, like dried-up river channels, recent impact craters, and the occasional, ahem, elephant.
Sometimes the orbiter’s HiRISE camera appears down upon the machines below. This happened lately, according to a NASA press release, so we’ve got some new photographs of Curiosity and InSight. InSight is positioned in a region referred to as Elysium Planitia, which hugs the Martian equator. MRO took the image above on September 23, 2019, from a top of 272 kilometers (169 miles). The picture is so clear that the lander’s two solar panels, which measure 6 meters (20 ft) from one finish to the opposite, are seen. The white spot is the dome-shaped shield at the moment overlaying InSight’s marsquake detector, which has produced some exciting outcomes. The streaks seen close to the lander are tracks left behind by dust devils—one among which indeed swept over the lander again in May.
The MRO took a photo of InSight in December 2018, but NASA considers this the most precise picture but made of the lander from space, because the company explains in its press release.