International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

NASA’s HiRISE photographs Mars InSight lander from space


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: HiRISE

Mains level: Importance of the Mars mission


  • NASA has pinpointed the exact landing location of its newly launched InSight lander, using a powerful camera onboard another of the agency’s spacecraft, hovering around the Red Planet.

After InSight’s landing

  1. On November 26, InSight landed within a 130 km ellipse at Elysium Planitia on Mars.
  2. However, there was no way to determine exactly where it touched down within this region.
  3. InSight was set to study the interior of Mars, and will explore valuable science as NASA prepares to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars.
  4. The spacecraft will operate on the surface for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or sols, until November 24, 2020.


  1. The HiRISE (which stands for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted Martian landscape and ground around the lander.
  2. It released three new features on the Martian landscape, which appear to be teal.
  3. However, it is not their actual colour, but light reflected off their surfaces caused the colour to be saturated.
  4. The ground around the lander appears dark, having been blasted by its retro-rockets during descent.


InSight Mars Mission

  • Please navigate to the page:

Nasa Mars InSight blasts off from California Air Base to check on ‘Marsquakes’

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