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
- On November 26, InSight landed within a 130 km ellipse at Elysium Planitia on Mars.
- However, there was no way to determine exactly where it touched down within this region.
- 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.
- The spacecraft will operate on the surface for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or sols, until November 24, 2020.
- The HiRISE (which stands for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted Martian landscape and ground around the lander.
- It released three new features on the Martian landscape, which appear to be teal.
- However, it is not their actual colour, but light reflected off their surfaces caused the colour to be saturated.
- The ground around the lander appears dark, having been blasted by its retro-rockets during descent.
InSight Mars Mission
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