Here's the first selfie on Mars: Thanks to NASA Insight lander

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NASA's Insight lander on Mars
NASA's Insight lander on Mars

New Delhi : It’s been two weeks now that NASA's Insight lander has touched the soil of 'Red Planet'. And, interestingly, the robotic arm of spacecraft has send back its first selfie on Mars, confirms US space agency.

On November 26, Insight landed safely at Elysium Plantia on Mars, inaugarating a two-year mission to explore the deep interior of the planet.

On December 6, the spacecraft used a on its robotic arm to take its first selfie. It’s a mosaic made of 11 images. The image includes the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.

Besides sending selfie, the Insight has sent another set of mosaic composed of 52 individual photos.

The mosaic exhibits the first look of "workspace", the approximately 14-by-7-foot (4-by-2-metre) crescent of terrain directly in front of the spacecraft. It’s a place where the spacecraft's instruments such as seismometer and heat-flow probe can be placed.

"The near-absence of rocks, hills and holes means it'll be extremely safe for our instruments," said InSight's principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

"This might seem like a pretty plain piece of ground if it weren't on Mars, but we're glad to see that," Banerdt added.

NASA's Insight team has smartly chosen a landing region in Elysium Planitia that is relatively free of rocks. The spacecrafts is positioned in a rock-free hollow place which possibly has been created by a meteor affect that was filled with sand later.