Cal Poly cube sats help NASA stay in touch with InSight lander

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These experimental, briefcase-sized spacecraft were launched along with NASA's InSight lander in May and became the first small satellites to travel into deep space. The images will help researchers to decide the best locations to place the spacecraft's scientific instruments. "They were an excellent test of how CubeSats can serve as "tag-alongs" on future missions, giving engineers up-to-the-minute feedback during a landing".

He's leading one of the teams that will analyze Mars's core.

"This has important implications beyond just these two neighbors [Mars and Earth], as we are now discovering thousands of exoplanets around other stars, some of which may be quite similar to Earth or Mars in terms of size, location and composition", said Jack Singal, a physics professor at the University of Richmond and a former NASA astrophysics researcher. That atmosphere causes interference to change the signal when it's received on Earth, a way for scientists to detect how much atmosphere is present and even its composition. InSight beamed its first image from the surface back to Earth on the same day that it arrived, and NASA was kind enough to share it with the world.

An article in the New York Times said InSight has been journeying to Mars for the past six months and will include a seismometer and a heat probe.

His desire to construct a spacecraft developed when he was growing up in Ghana.

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A going away photo taken by a tiny satellite shows its final view of the red planet as it flew by Mars on Monday. It also attempted to snap some photos of Mars' moons, Phobos and Deimos.

"WALL-E sent some great postcards from Mars!" said Cody Colley of JPL, MarCO's mission manager.

While the CubeSats have achieved their primary objectives, NASA scientists will continue to collect additional data on each CubeSat for next few weeks.

The organisation was formed to ensure that many Ghanaian children obtain competitive technical skills that will prevent them from falling behind countries such as India and China. And unlike the moon landing, they completed the most hard part of the mission - the speedy descent through the atmosphere, the deployment of parachute and lander legs and the eventual landing on the surface of Mars - all with their hands off the controls. "During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly-and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did", Hoffman was quoted in the release.

For more about MarCO, visit this link.

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