According to a recent NASA statement, the two MarCo CubeSats, EVE and Wall-E, are now getting closer to Mars where they are due to arrive in November. Also, NASA released the first images the two space probes took recently, showing the Red Planet, as well as the Earth and the Moon. Also, next month, the InSight mission would touch down on Mars to study the planet’s interior.
“A wide-angle camera on top of MarCO-B produced the image as a test of exposure settings. The MarCO mission, led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, hopes to produce more images as the CubeSats approach Mars ahead of November 26. That’s when they’ll demonstrate their communications capabilities while NASA’s InSight spacecraft attempts to land on the red planet. The InSight mission won’t rely on them, however; NASA’s Mars orbiters will be relaying the spacecraft’s data back to Earth,” said NASA in a statement.
EVE and Wall-E MarCo CubeSats Are Getting Closer To Mars
According to the US space agency, the two CubeSats are now at about 8 million miles (12.8 million km) away from Mars. So far, the two space probes traveled 248 million miles (399 million km).
“This image (see above) was taken from a distance of roughly 8 million miles (12.8 million km) from Mars. The MarCo are ‘chasing’ Mars, which is a moving target as it orbits the sun. In order to be in place for InSight’s landing, the CubeSats have to travel roughly 53 million miles (85 million km). They have already traveled 248 million miles (399 million km),” added NASA in the recent statement.
“We’ve been waiting six months to get to Mars. The cruise phase of the mission is always difficult, so you take all the small wins when they come. Finally seeing the planet is definitely a big win for the team,” also said Cody Colley, MarCo’s mission manager at NASA’s JPL.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.