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Robotic Spacecraft (Astronomy, Planetary, Earth, Solar/Heliophysics) => Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and Mars 2020 Rover Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 11/29/2018 07:13 pm

Title: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/29/2018 07:13 pm
ONLY updates in this thread please.

Master thread for coverage through dev and landing:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27717.0

ARTICLES:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/29/2018 07:14 pm
FEATURE ARTICLE: InSight healthy, prepares for a two Earth year primary science mission -

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/11/insight-healthy-two-earth-year-primary-science-mission/ …

- By Chris Gebhardt

(Awesome InSight EDL render by Nathan Koga for NSF/L2)

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1068235962994573313
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/01/2018 09:51 am
10 new images releases, arm moved:
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/01/2018 10:15 am
Suggestion for slider values suitable for Insight pictures?


Online defisheye tool (https://jywarren.github.io/fisheyegl/example/#a=1&b=1&Fx=0.24&Fy=0.41&scale=0.882&x=1.033&y=0.985)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mlindner on 12/02/2018 05:02 pm
Dust appears to be blowing off the camera lens over time.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mlindner on 12/02/2018 05:06 pm
10 new images releases, arm moved:
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight

The images are downloaded as PNG files but they have jpg compression in them. Do you know where the actual raw images are available? NASA seems to be at some point saving them as jpg before converting them to png.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/02/2018 06:16 pm
It is quite possible they're actually being downloaded from the spacecraft in jpg form, for bandwidth reasons. If it's anything like MSL, they have the option of returning on-board-debayered color images in such a compressed form or raw, uncompressed bayered CCD readouts.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: theinternetftw on 12/02/2018 06:49 pm
NASA seems to be at some point saving them as jpg before converting them to png.

That point is on Mars. :)  From this PDF: (https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2018/pdf/2764.pdf)

Quote
All onboard IDC/ICC image processing is done by the lander flight software running on the lander computer. After an image is read out from the camera, a shutter image is also acquired and subtracted from the image of interest; this removes frame transfer readout smear and dark current. The raw Bayer image is then demosaicked into RGB triplets, color balanced onboard using preloaded color correction coefficients, and companded to 8 bits using a 12- to-8 bit square root lookup table (LUT). The resultant images are JPEG-compressed by the lander computer and packetized for downlink. Typical JPEG quality values used for deployment activites are 85, 90, and 95, which correspond approximately to compressed bit rates of 1, 2, and 3 bits/pixel, respectively (the exact relationship between compression quality and bit rate is scene-dependent).

This seems to suggest jpeg is all we'll get.  I mean, it's software, if they want the raw data or any of the above interim products, they can get it, but the PDF doesn't suggest that as an option.

Edit: Fixed a case of mistaken identity.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/02/2018 08:22 pm
NASA seems to be at some point saving them as jpg before converting them to png.

That point is on Mars. :)  From this PDF: (https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2018/pdf/2764.pdf)

Please check your quoting, that's not my quote. What I said is basically what your pdf says. This approach with images downlinked already jpegged started with MSL. They did occasionally send lossless raw CCD data down, but because of how the ground raw image pipeline worked, it converted those to "greyscale" jpegs as well which made them useless for manual debayering because all the high spatial frequency bayer filter data was clobbered at that point. It turned out that the public raw pipeline re-encoded the already jpegged images into jpeg again, for the sake of simplicity in the pipeline.

At least with InSight we skip one extra lossy compression step with the public raw images.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: theinternetftw on 12/02/2018 11:10 pm
Please check your quoting, that's not my quote.

That's weird, you didn't even quote them yourself.  No idea how that happened.

Edit: Fixed the original post.

By the way, it looks like lossy compression (though not jpeg) was used on the MER rovers as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICER
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/03/2018 06:48 am
By the way, it looks like lossy compression (though not jpeg) was used on the MER rovers as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICER

Yes, MER used quite an interesting wavelet-based compression. The difference is that those images were by definition monochromatic as the cameras used either rotating filter wheels or a fixed one. MSL was the first such landed mission that used bayer color filters on the chip itself and the high frequency bayer mosaic "noise" made such lossy compression schemes really bad unless you did a debayer already on the spacecraft. Once you did that, might as well use good ole jpeg for the resulting color product. Seems like a bit of a shame they didn't adapt ICER for color and it's as if we regressed back to a less sophisticated jpeg algorithm, but hey - it works.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: niwax on 12/03/2018 07:56 am
By the way, it looks like lossy compression (though not jpeg) was used on the MER rovers as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICER

Yes, MER used quite an interesting wavelet-based compression. The difference is that those images were by definition monochromatic as the cameras used either rotating filter wheels or a fixed one. MSL was the first such landed mission that used bayer color filters on the chip itself and the high frequency bayer mosaic "noise" made such lossy compression schemes really bad unless you did a debayer already on the spacecraft. Once you did that, might as well use good ole jpeg for the resulting color product. Seems like a bit of a shame they didn't adapt ICER for color and it's as if we regressed back to a less sophisticated jpeg algorithm, but hey - it works.

Since this isn't an imaging mission and the cameras are pretty much just there so we puny humans can judge what the robot is doing they likely went for the simplest solution. No reason to spend time adapting algorithms when basic JPEG is dead simple to implement.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/03/2018 08:04 am
No reason to spend time adapting algorithms when basic JPEG is dead simple to implement.

Perfectly fine for InSight, I was really commenting about MER->MSL transition. Wavelet should theoretically give slightly better image quality than DCT, but it's perhaps less resilient to data dropouts.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: falcon19 on 12/03/2018 02:19 pm
Looking at the latest pictures from InSight, it looks like the Context Camera has dropped the lens cover, but there is still dust on the lens, is that correct?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 12/03/2018 06:23 pm
Looking at the latest pictures from InSight, it looks like the Context Camera has dropped the lens cover, but there is still dust on the lens, is that correct?

Indeed.  Some of the dust seems to be falling off.  Far from a perfect image, but I will say it is clear enough for the engineers to recreate the workspace ground.

The area either to the left or directly past the one rock in front of InSight looks perfect for the instruments.  The area around the footpad toward the far right looks like the only troublesome spot, assuming the gravel-esque rocks are any trouble at all.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: theinternetftw on 12/03/2018 06:37 pm
A bit of metadata about the above image: It's from Sol 5 (December 1st) and was taken at a mean solar time of 13:04:20.

And to show dust change in a bit of a different way, here's an image highlighting the dust particles that are no longer on the lens, compared to Sol 4.  So the quality of image is steadily getting better.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: deruch on 12/04/2018 01:01 pm
No reason to spend time adapting algorithms when basic JPEG is dead simple to implement.

Perfectly fine for InSight, I was really commenting about MER->MSL transition. Wavelet should theoretically give slightly better image quality than DCT, but it's perhaps less resilient to data dropouts.

No reason for NASA to fret about images being mangled due to dropped or corrupted data.  They could just turn to the experts in the field of spaceflight-related image recovery: NASASpaceflight (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34597.0). 

:D
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ChrisC on 12/06/2018 02:14 pm
Jean-Yves Le Gall has tweeted two images of the SEIS instrument on the deck.

Disappointed that these didn't show up in the raw images website first, but I can understand the argument that they get first dibs.  Hopefully it's actually just a pipeline or website glitch.

(and sorry that I'm apparently not capable of following my own embed instructions right now )

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">Mars. Elysium Planitia. Deux nouvelles photos d’InSight. SEIS en gros plan sur la première et le logo du CNES en bas à gauche sur la deuxième. Le CNES est sur Mars! @CNES (https://twitter.com/CNES?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw) @CNRS (https://twitter.com/CNRS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw) @InSight_IPGP (https://twitter.com/InSight_IPGP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw) @NASA (https://twitter.com/NASA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw) @NASAInSight (https://twitter.com/NASAInSight?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw) @NASAJPL (https://twitter.com/NASAJPL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw) pic.twitter.com/DSGpTyKZBa (https://t.co/DSGpTyKZBa)</p>&mdash; Jean-Yves Le Gall (@JY_LeGall) December 6, 2018 (https://twitter.com/JY_LeGall/status/1070561717367779328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/06/2018 02:16 pm
The image on the right nicely shows engine exhaust marks on the ground.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: catdlr on 12/06/2018 05:47 pm
NASA's Mars InSight Flexes Its Arm

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7298

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/06/2018 07:20 pm
New raw images have now been posted to https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 12/06/2018 07:49 pm
Impressive.  Bad news: the admit it looks like dust indeed got onto the context camera even with the cap on it before.  Good news: arm camera doing well and shows a landscape sufficent for seismology.  I'm very happy they're actively unveiling progress now.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/06/2018 11:09 pm

The image on the right nicely shows engine exhaust marks on the ground.


More on this:
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/07/2018 07:42 am
Seismometer is alive and well! https://spacegate.cnes.fr/fr/insight-le-sismom%C3%A8tre-seis-va-bien
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/07/2018 07:16 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-insight-lander-hears-martian-winds

NASA InSight Lander 'Hears' Martian Winds



You can download the file and listen to it for yourself. It is very low frequency.


https://www.nasa.gov/insightmarswind

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/07/2018 07:32 pm
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/09/2018 10:09 pm
Initial ground survey stitch:

https://twitter.com/nivnac/status/1071756012380508160

Full res: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32370981178/
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/11/2018 09:49 am
Great images streaming down now, showing details such as:
- scorched ground under InSight
- the descent engines
- pebble tracks due to the thrusters interactions with the ground
- the extended robotic arm seen with the dusty context camera, and
- the "hollow" where InSight has landed, where you can see the difference in terrain between where the lander stands and a few meters beyond.

It's quite nice to scroll through the image gallery to have a movie-like experience of the arm panning around.

Also, let's talk about "luck" with the last image  :o
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/11/2018 10:03 pm
https://twitter.com/NASAJPL/status/1072608817802809346
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2018 10:46 pm
NASA's InSight Takes Its First Selfie (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7302)

NASA's InSight lander isn't camera-shy. The spacecraft used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie - a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together. Visible in the selfie are the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments.

Mission team members have also received their first complete look at InSight's "workspace" - the approximately 14-by-7-foot (4-by-2-meter) crescent of terrain directly in front of the spacecraft. This image is also a mosaic composed of 52 individual photos.

In the coming weeks, scientists and engineers will go through the painstaking process of deciding where in this workspace the spacecraft's instruments should be placed. They will then command InSight's robotic arm to carefully set the seismometer (called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, or SEIS) and heat-flow probe (known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3) in the chosen locations. Both work best on level ground, and engineers want to avoid setting them on rocks larger than about a half-inch (1.3 cm).

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

InSight's landing team deliberately chose a landing region in Elysium Planitia that is relatively free of rocks. Even so, the landing spot turned out even better than they hoped. The spacecraft sits in what appears to be a nearly rock-free "hollow" - a depression created by a meteor impact that later filled with sand. That should make it easier for one of InSight's instruments, the heat-flow probe, to bore down to its goal of 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/12/2018 07:44 am
If you follow this twitter account you will receive automatic notifications for each new image posted on official NASA site:
https://twitter.com/InsightImageBot

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Star One on 12/12/2018 12:45 pm
Quote
Phil

Yes, HIRISE is supposed to release an image later this week. I have seen an image that shows the lander, heatshield, and backshell/parachute location. Have not seen the actual HIRISE image but instead a pre-landing one with dots on the spots where those are located. Can't wait to see the actual image. Sorry not allowed to distribute the photo I was shown.

From here (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=8432&pid=242535&st=255&#entry242535).

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/13/2018 10:33 am
This undocumented API allows manually retrieving full list of available images as soon as they become available:
https://mars.nasa.gov/api/v1/raw_image_items/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=1000&page=0&condition_1=insight%3Amission (https://mars.nasa.gov/api/v1/raw_image_items/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=1000&page=0&condition_1=insight%3Amission)
order: fields to order by; here it is sol+desc,date_taken+desc
per_page: how many results to get per page
page: select which page of results to retrieve




You can save the file locally and prepend   imageslist=  to the beginning of file contents and  ; at the end, so you can then just import it into an HTML page by using <script src="download.json"></script> : you'll then get an imageslist object, whose property list.items is an array of all images, where each item has these main properties:
item.created_at = creation date on Mars in EarthUTC timezone
item.imageid
item.extended.localtime
item.title
item.url
item.sol
item.instrument

list property total shows the total amount of images available, currently 196 .
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/13/2018 02:23 pm
The purple band shows where they can place the seismometer. As you can see, they are not going to have any problems.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/13/2018 03:17 pm
What is the constraint behind the band? Arm movement or something more esoteric?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/13/2018 03:28 pm
What is the constraint behind the band? Arm movement or something more esoteric?

I would guess arm movement.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/13/2018 04:41 pm
https://twitter.com/HiRISE/status/1073269025864482817 (https://twitter.com/HiRISE/status/1073269025864482817)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: matthewkantar on 12/13/2018 06:36 pm
Impressed with how clearly discernible the two solar arrays are on the lander.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/13/2018 08:44 pm
<tweet>

Corresponding point in the landing ellipse thanks to Emily Lakdawalla:

https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/1073300378576334850
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 12/13/2018 09:02 pm
Well within of what you would expect given that InSight didn't do any active guided entry a-la Curiosity.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Arb on 12/13/2018 09:30 pm
The purple band shows where they can place the seismometer. As you can see, they are not going to have any problems.
Where's Helodriver; we could play seismometer bingo  ;D
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: theinternetftw on 12/14/2018 12:58 am
https://twitter.com/HiRISE/status/1073269025864482817 (https://twitter.com/HiRISE/status/1073269025864482817)

A nice shot of all the impacts together was a few links deeper.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: lamid on 12/14/2018 04:21 am
Distances

Edit:
 distances are incorrect
cca 1,5x=correct
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/14/2018 10:42 am
How is it explained that the 3 objects are not at least approximately aligned on same trajectory?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 12/14/2018 10:44 am
All three used a different landing method from each other.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Jim on 12/14/2018 11:41 am
How is it explained that the 3 objects are not at least approximately aligned on same trajectory?

Different aerodynamics.  The back shell with parachute could drift.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 12/14/2018 02:08 pm
InSight landed inside a filled-in crater?  Would that also be a ghost crater?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/14/2018 02:38 pm
InSight landed inside a filled-in crater?  Would that also be a ghost crater?
Crater?
The different color of terrain is due to landing retrorocket firing, it's not shadow.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 12/14/2018 02:52 pm
InSight landed inside a filled-in crater?  Would that also be a ghost crater?
Crater?
The different color of terrain is due to landing retrorocket firing, it's not shadow.

Not the dark discoloration, but the lighter outline around the lander.  The incomplete arc is best seen to the upper right of the lander, as the image is oriented.  Similar complete or near-complete, circular outlines are scattered throughout the larger image field.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: lamid on 12/15/2018 05:40 am
I used the coordinates posted by Emily Lakdawalla from Livio L. Tornabene in Google Earth and the distance is on image under.

I do not understand the difference in the distance between the image from HiRISE and Google Earth image.
InSight -Parachute : 368 or 566 m
InSight-Heat Shield: 496 or 757 m
Parachute-Heat Shield: 624 or 927 m

Has image from HiRISE wrong scale? cca 1.5 x?




Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: lamid on 12/15/2018 07:24 am
I measured the distance in the image from:
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA22877
the scale here is fine

HiRISE 1.5x and 7° rotated, distances are incorrect

Locations of InSight, its Heat Shield and its Parachute, distances are correct
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: plutogno on 12/15/2018 12:30 pm
raw images for Sol 18 are up. they seem to indicate that seismometer deployment is imminent
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 12/15/2018 03:39 pm
We are supposed to write in this UPDATE thread only to report news, not to discuss.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 12/17/2018 07:58 pm
I mentioned it excitedly in the master thread but I'm mentioning it here since this looks like a worthy update.

INSIGHT'S GRABBING SEIS!  ;D
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 12/18/2018 10:14 pm
An article at the InSight webpage from NASA verifies the team's preparing for SEIS instrument deployment imminently:
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8401/insight-engineers-have-made-a-martian-rock-garden/ (https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8401/insight-engineers-have-made-a-martian-rock-garden/)
Quote
Every bit of additional realism in the lab creates a more reliable test. The team spent this past weekend commanding each movement of ForeSight's robotic arm, ensuring that the instrument tethers stayed clear of rocks. By Monday morning, they had confirmed the science team's preferred placements: about 5.4 feet (1.6 meters) directly in front of the lander for the seismometer. The heat flow probe will be placed roughly the same distance from the lander, but about 4 feet (1.2 meters) to the left of the seismometer.

The commands to set down InSight's seismometer are being sent to Mars today. In a few days, Sundgaard and her team will be waiting to see the first pictures of their work recreated robotically on the Red Planet.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/18/2018 10:54 pm
So we don't need to keep scrolling back to find it, here is the link to the raw images:

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight

I expect that they will take a whole series as they're doing the lift and placement and then string them together so we get a bit of a movie out of it.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: jacqmans on 12/20/2018 06:01 am
NASA's InSight Places First Instrument on Mars

NASA's InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone. New images from the lander show the seismometer on the ground, its copper-colored covering faintly illuminated in the Martian dusk. It looks as if all is calm and all is bright for InSight, heading into the end of the year.

"InSight's timetable of activities on Mars has gone better than we hoped," said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, who is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Getting the seismometer safely on the ground is an awesome Christmas present."

The InSight team has been working carefully toward deploying its two dedicated science instruments onto Martian soil since landing on Mars on Nov. 26. Meanwhile, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), which does not have its own separate instrument, has already begun using InSight's radio connection with Earth to collect preliminary data on the planet's core. Not enough time has elapsed for scientists to deduce what they want to know - scientists estimate they might have some results starting in about a year.

To deploy the seismometer (also known as the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, or SEIS) and the heat probe (also known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe, or HP3), engineers first had to verify the robotic arm that picks up and places InSight's instruments onto the Martian surface was working properly. Engineers tested the commands for the lander, making sure a model in the test bed at JPL deployed the instruments exactly as intended. Scientists also had to analyze images of the Martian terrain around the lander to figure out the best places to deploy the instruments.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, InSight engineers sent up the commands to the spacecraft. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, the seismometer was gently placed onto the ground directly in front of the lander, about as far away as the arm can reach - 5.367 feet, or 1.636 meters, away).

"Seismometer deployment is as important as landing InSight on Mars," said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, also based at JPL. "The seismometer is the highest-priority instrument on InSight: We need it in order to complete about three-quarters of our science objectives."

The seismometer allows scientists to peer into the Martian interior by studying ground motion - also known as marsquakes. Each marsquake acts as a kind of flashbulb that illuminates the structure of the planet's interior. By analyzing how seismic waves pass through the layers of the planet, scientists can deduce the depth and composition of these layers.

"Having the seismometer on the ground is like holding a phone up to your ear," said Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator of SEIS from Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and Paris Diderot University. "We're thrilled that we're now in the best position to listen to all the seismic waves from below Mars' surface and from its deep interior."

In the coming days, the InSight team will work on leveling the seismometer, which is sitting on ground that is tilted 2 to 3 degrees. The first seismometer science data should begin to flow back to Earth after the seismometer is in the right position.

But engineers and scientists at JPL, the French national space agency Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) and other institutions affiliated with the SEIS team will need several additional weeks to make sure the returned data are as clear as possible. For one thing, they will check and possibly adjust the seismometer's long, wire-lined tether to minimize noise that could travel along it to the seismometer. Then, in early January, engineers expect to command the robotic arm to place the Wind and Thermal Shield over the seismometer to stabilize the environment around the sensors.

Assuming that there are no unexpected issues, the InSight team plans to deploy the heat probe onto the Martian surface by late January. HP3 will be on the east side of the lander's work space, roughly the same distance away from the lander as the seismometer.

For now, though, the team is focusing on getting those first bits of seismic data (however noisy) back from the Martian surface.

"We look forward to popping some Champagne when we start to get data from InSight's seismometer on the ground," Banerdt added. "I have a bottle ready for the occasion."

JPL manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.

A number of European partners, including CNES and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), support the InSight mission. CNES provided SEIS to NASA, with the principal investigator at IPGP. Significant contributions for SEIS came from IPGP, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, the Swiss Institute of Technology in Switzerland, Imperial College and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and JPL. DLR provided the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain's Centro de Astrobiología supplied the wind sensors.

For more information about InSight, visit:

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ejb749 on 12/20/2018 08:29 pm
Here's an animation I made of the deployment, with a slight level shift for brightness.
(http://www.bgmeng.com/images/deploy.gif)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 12/22/2018 07:48 pm
SEIS has been released by the grapple:

https://twitter.com/CNES/status/1076547445474115584
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/22/2018 09:33 pm
Here are the images off the image site:
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 12/23/2018 12:37 am
Ah so wonderful seeing it on the surface after years of waiting for a work seismometer...  :D

Although there's wind interference for the moment, should it be able to begin hearing Mars now?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/23/2018 03:19 pm
Some new images:
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 12/23/2018 11:49 pm
How much protection does a power cable need on Mars?  Obviously the images are inspecting its condition.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/24/2018 01:15 pm
How much protection does a power cable need on Mars?  Obviously the images are inspecting its condition.

That's an interesting question. There's going to be thermal cycling every day. But is dust an abrasive threat? Probably not for many years. Would the low wind pressure move the cable creating stress points on it? I doubt that this requires extensive engineering, but it requires some thought. I assume they've tried to account for things like flexing and how that may impact the sensor readings.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Nomadd on 12/24/2018 01:20 pm
How much protection does a power cable need on Mars?  Obviously the images are inspecting its condition.

That's an interesting question. There's going to be thermal cycling every day. But is dust an abrasive threat? Probably not for many years. Would the low wind pressure move the cable creating stress points on it? I doubt that this requires extensive engineering, but it requires some thought. I assume they've tried to account for things like flexing and how that may impact the sensor readings.
UV
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: webdan on 12/24/2018 01:53 pm
Not sure if already posted, but plenty of good info on SEIS here:

https://www.seis-insight.eu/en/public-2/seis-instrument/tether

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/24/2018 09:33 pm
UV

Is UV more important than other forms of radiation that it is exposed to on the surface?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: hop on 12/24/2018 10:56 pm
How much protection does a power cable need on Mars?  Obviously the images are inspecting its condition.
Worth noting that most previous missions had external cabling on vehicle decks, arms, masts, etc. So there's a fair bit of experience even if it wasn't as out in the open as this.

Emily Lakdawalla's post at http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2018/insight-update-sols-1-25.html has a great description of operation related to the tether. There's a lot of work to ensure it doesn't transmit vibration to SEIS, including the possibility they will use the arm to adjust tension on it.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: niwax on 12/25/2018 12:25 am
UV

Is UV more important than other forms of radiation that it is exposed to on the surface?

It's the one that can seriously degrade plastics. If it can kick atoms out of human DNA, it can kick atoms from carbon chains. Plastic cables need a certain mix of long chains and softeners to stay strong but flexible and those can be disturbed. On one extreme end, bare carbon fiber structures can lose up to 80% of their strength under sunlight on earth in a fairly short time period.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Nomadd on 12/25/2018 02:37 am
UV

Is UV more important than other forms of radiation that it is exposed to on the surface?
Not familiar with other types. I have quite a few years taking care of outdoor cables though. I doubt if it will be a problem for years, but if this things lasts almost forever, as so many Mars missions seem to, I'm not surprised they'd want to monitor the cable over time.
 Or, it could just be positional monitoring. This guy is so incredibly sensitive maybe they want to be sure a tiny cable shift from wind or aging didn't cause some false signals.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/25/2018 05:13 pm
Ah so wonderful seeing it on the surface after years of waiting for a work seismometer...  :D

I'm not going to say that this was a very tough call on NASA's part, but it required some real deliberation. They had to ask themselves if the extra money spent on the delay was something they could afford. I know that sunk cost is a fallacy, blah blah blah, but I actually think that sunk cost is something you have to take into consideration, particularly in government-run programs, because there is a non-dollar cost to canceling a program in terms of credibility, relationships, prestige, etc.

I also have an upcoming article about how NASA learned from MPL's failure, then learned from Phoenix's success, and now has a proven reliable Mars lander that they can consider for future missions.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/25/2018 05:15 pm
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: deruch on 12/26/2018 05:30 pm
Ah so wonderful seeing it on the surface after years of waiting for a work seismometer...  :D

I'm not going to say that this was a very tough call on NASA's part, but it required some real deliberation. They had to ask themselves if the extra money spent on the delay was something they could afford. I know that sunk cost is a fallacy, blah blah blah, but I actually think that sunk cost is something you have to take into consideration, particularly in government-run programs, because there is a non-dollar cost to canceling a program in terms of credibility, relationships, prestige, etc.

The problem is what to do when you know and understand that "sunk cost" is a fallacy but the people who are evaluating your programs and setting your budgets either don't understand it or sometimes behave as if they didn't.  (but that's a topic for another thread)

Quote
I also have an upcoming article about how NASA learned from MPL's failure, then learned from Phoenix's success, and now has a proven reliable Mars lander that they can consider for future missions.
Do you think they would build more of them?  I thought the whole point of this one was that they already had it "laying around" so repurposing it and making it flight-worthy was seen as a low cost option.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/26/2018 06:05 pm
1-The problem is what to do when you know and understand that "sunk cost" is a fallacy but the people who are evaluating your programs and setting your budgets either don't understand it or sometimes behave as if they didn't.  (but that's a topic for another thread)

2-Do you think they would build more of them?  I thought the whole point of this one was that they already had it "laying around" so repurposing it and making it flight-worthy was seen as a low cost option.

1-Yeah, a topic for another thread, but I don't actually believe that sunk cost is a "fallacy." I think that arguments that about the "sunk cost fallacy" miss some important points about how projects are approved and how human psychology works. If you assume that something is important enough to do, then the sunk cost is a measure of how much it may cost you to do it in the future if you cancel it now and choose to start again. But that's a longer discussion.

2-I think it is entirely possible they will build more of them. And InSight was new. Phoenix was already-built hardware, but InSight was new. My article will actually go into how using already-built hardware for Phoenix did not save much money, but it did reduce a lot of risk. And that's always going to be true: using flight spares will rarely save much money, because most of the cost is in integration and testing and NOT hardware. But using something that has been previously tested, and may have already flown, gives you much greater confidence in the design. You've removed all the obvious risks and now you can focus on the remaining risks when you fly again.

With the current Discovery competition gearing up (see the other thread), you could easily see somebody proposing using this basic lander design again for a new Mars mission. We know that it works. It's on the small end and it doesn't rove, but there may be science missions that are perfectly suited to it.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ccdengr on 12/26/2018 06:44 pm
I also have an upcoming article about how NASA learned from MPL's failure...
I'll be very curious to see what your conclusion is.  As far as I know, MPL would have worked if there had been a one-line code change in the flight software that managed the landing leg switch debounce.  Of course there were lots of other potential issues found, but I suspect that all successful missions have lots of potential issues that never end up being looked for.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/26/2018 09:06 pm
I also have an upcoming article about how NASA learned from MPL's failure...
I'll be very curious to see what your conclusion is.  As far as I know, MPL would have worked if there had been a one-line code change in the flight software that managed the landing leg switch debounce.  Of course there were lots of other potential issues found, but I suspect that all successful missions have lots of potential issues that never end up being looked for.

It might have worked. But there were other hidden vulnerabilities embedded in the design that should have been removed. For instance, the shutoff command relied upon a single sensor reading. That's very thin margin, because if the sensor doesn't work, or works wrong, you lose the spacecraft. And in fact the deployment springs had been made overly strong because they were worried about non-deployment. I don't know if they later compensated for that, but it was unusual. Also, I talked to one of the investigators and he said that there was a 2% chance that the parachute could have landed on top of the lander. They fixed that with Phoenix. They fixed other things as well.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ccdengr on 12/26/2018 09:45 pm
They fixed that with Phoenix. They fixed other things as well.
They fixed a lot of things, hundreds of millions of dollars of things by some accounts.  Whether they were things that needed to be fixed is another, largely unanswerable question -- that's all I'm saying.

I worked on MPL, the 2001 lander that became PHX, and PHX, for what that's worth.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: vjkane on 12/27/2018 04:46 pm
With the current Discovery competition gearing up (see the other thread), you could easily see somebody proposing using this basic lander design again for a new Mars mission. We know that it works. It's on the small end and it doesn't rove, but there may be science missions that are perfectly suited to it.
The IceBreaker mission proposed for the last Discovery competition would have used a near copy of the Phoenix lander.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/27/2018 05:30 pm
With the current Discovery competition gearing up (see the other thread), you could easily see somebody proposing using this basic lander design again for a new Mars mission. We know that it works. It's on the small end and it doesn't rove, but there may be science missions that are perfectly suited to it.
The IceBreaker mission proposed for the last Discovery competition would have used a near copy of the Phoenix lander.

Yes, so would (cough) the Mars One precursor mission. But I don't know if Chris McKay is proposing IceBreaker again.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Yeknom-Ecaps on 01/01/2019 05:25 pm
The raw images show the arm extending out to SEIS on days after putting it on the surface - is it actually grabbing/moving it or just positioning to get various pictures of the workspace?

See Sol 24 (Dec 21) at ~13:08 p.m.
and Sol 25 (Dec 22) at ~11:30 a.m.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 01/03/2019 08:30 pm
A few more images acquired on January 3:

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 01/03/2019 10:47 pm
So they uncoiled the rest of the seisometer's tether.  Does this mean they're satisfied with its positioning?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/06/2019 08:02 pm
So they uncoiled the rest of the seisometer's tether.  Does this mean they're satisfied with its positioning?

Apparently so:

https://twitter.com/NASAInSight/status/1081949062935367680
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/07/2019 10:11 pm
Cable loop released:

https://twitter.com/InSight_IPGP/status/1082339083479769088
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 01/12/2019 01:38 am
The InSight page just posted the story regarding the SEIS placement.  It mentions that they plan to pickup the cover for it fairly soon (they say early January).  Also mentioned is excitement for receiving the SEIS' first data once leveling is set, even if the data is a bit noisy from Martian wind.
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8402/nasas-insight-places-first-instrument-on-mars/?site=insight (https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8402/nasas-insight-places-first-instrument-on-mars/?site=insight)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 01/13/2019 05:39 pm
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/13/2019 05:46 pm
The claw now has to pull the tether of the seismometer toward the lander, grabbing an especially-designed piece on the part of the tether on the ground, to open up the separation in the cable loop for noise reduction. Then the chainmail cover will be grabbed and placed on top of it.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Phil Stooke on 01/14/2019 04:20 am
I think the plan is to stow the grapple (tried but not succeeded twice so far, it's a bit tricky) and then use the scoop on the end of the arm to pull the little pin outwards from the SEIS, rather than grappling that little pin.  Clearly from the design it could be done either way.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/14/2019 04:40 pm
Leveling and optimal ground coupling of the seismometer is complete, ahead of the cable pull (which is actually a contingency scenario, not unexpected but they had hoped for it not to be necessary once the frangibolt fired), final releveling to horizontal, and shield placement.

https://twitter.com/InSight_IPGP/status/1084852332318216194 (https://twitter.com/InSight_IPGP/status/1084852332318216194)


Page with a (French) summary of the operations so far and what Phil just posted in the above post about the scoop being used to pull the cable: https://www.seis-insight.eu/fr/actualites/460-l-installation-de-seis-a-la-surface-de-mars (https://www.seis-insight.eu/fr/actualites/460-l-installation-de-seis-a-la-surface-de-mars)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: mcgyver on 01/15/2019 08:50 am
was a descent camera installed on the lander? Are we going to eventually have a footage of the descent like for MSL?

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Phil Stooke on 01/15/2019 09:41 pm
No, no descent imaging.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: vjkane on 01/16/2019 04:00 am
No, no descent imaging.
Wait for Mars 2020.  Multiple cameras.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 01/16/2019 03:24 pm
No, no descent imaging.
Wait for Mars 2020.  Multiple cameras.

For the moment I'm more interested in hearing what SEIS senses thus far, even without the cover on just yet.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 01/16/2019 04:55 pm

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight


More photos from Mars. Mostly pictures of the grapple fixture. You could look closely for any changes.

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/17/2019 12:39 pm

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight


More photos from Mars. Mostly pictures of the grapple fixture. You could look closely for any changes.

Stowed!

https://twitter.com/PaulHammond51/status/1085861304856862720
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/23/2019 11:10 pm
https://twitter.com/InSight_IPGP/status/1088157699009699845

First pull to the tether done, but as you can see from the gif it was very timid. Probably iterating a few times to make sure the dampening loop is where it's supposed to be.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 01/29/2019 12:47 am
The loop has finally been placed in an acceptable configuration by pulling on the tether. Road is clear to deploy the windshield on top of SEIS.

https://twitter.com/PaulHammond51/status/1090030637719801856 (https://twitter.com/PaulHammond51/status/1090030637719801856)


https://twitter.com/NASAInSight/status/1090407519929790464
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 01/30/2019 10:19 pm
Looks like the lid is next!
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 01/31/2019 01:07 am

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight


If you go there and go back about 20 photos, you can click forward rapidly and see how they are exercising the gripper. It's interesting.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/01/2019 03:52 pm
Ya....oink!
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/02/2019 06:38 pm
The Eagle has landed.

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Svetoslav on 02/02/2019 06:41 pm
Hey, this is a flying saucer... errr... a shield!

https://twitter.com/InSightImageBot/status/1091781329337966594
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/02/2019 06:41 pm
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/02/2019 06:50 pm
Cover still on the lander, and then deployed.

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/02/2019 06:58 pm
Here is the landing.

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/02/2019 07:01 pm
The latest batch shows it set on the seismometer although still attached to the arm.  Will they be finicky (for good reason of course) before fully releasing?  Also the cover is just a cover, no wiring involved right?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/04/2019 05:38 pm
Image from Feb 3. You can see that they have lowered the gold skirt around the edge of the cover. (I wonder how they command it to drop that skirt? Is it a mechanical system or is there some kind of electro-mechanical actuator in there?)

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: catfry on 02/05/2019 02:49 am
From Emily Lakdawallas post her http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2019/insight-wts-placed.html it just sounds like it slowly unfolds by gravity over a matter of days.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/06/2019 11:22 pm
The shield is finally released.  We finally have a Martian seisometer able to work in peace.  Now, next up the mole, of course...
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/08/2019 12:32 pm
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/10/2019 01:44 am
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/10/2019 03:48 am
Reaching for the mole now.  It has the same kind of grip but positioned differently from either SEIS or its cover.  I presume they did their best to try to balance the weight.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/11/2019 08:15 am
Mole has been grabbed.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: theinternetftw on 02/11/2019 09:51 pm
For those who have slow internet connections, I recommend changing the "per_page" parameter in the URL to a lower number like I've done below, having chosen 5.

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=5&page=0&mission=insight

The standard value of 50 pictures results in a 65MB download just for that single page visit.  That's completely insane, but the site has been up for months, so I assume nobody is going to do anything about it.

With that out of the way, here's a gif of the grab.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Swedish chef on 02/11/2019 10:33 pm
For those who have slow internet connections, I recommend changing the "per_page" parameter in the URL to a lower number like I've done below, having chosen 5.

One could also follow Insightimagebot on twitter that reposts all images as they come in.

https://twitter.com/InSightImageBot
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/12/2019 10:19 am
https://twitter.com/MoonNext/status/1095083862600892417

SEIS deployment visible from MRO!
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/12/2019 01:40 pm
https://twitter.com/MarkPanning/status/1095039338235056128

Quietest location where a seismometer has ever been placed? (I guess the ones on the Moon were more noisy given the larger thermal excursions + tides there?)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/12/2019 11:19 pm
Appears both instruments on the ground now  :)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 02/13/2019 01:45 am
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/13/2019 09:05 am
Gif of the operation:

https://twitter.com/CNES/status/1095577354754244608
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: chetan_chpd on 02/13/2019 02:00 pm
Is there a real footage of insight landing? Like the one for curiosity...
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 02/13/2019 06:04 pm
Is there a real footage of insight landing? Like the one for curiosity...

No, it did not have a descent camera.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ncb1397 on 02/19/2019 09:42 pm
Quote
No matter how cold your winter has been, it's probably not as chilly as Mars. Check for yourself: Starting today, the public can get a daily weather report from NASA's InSight lander.

This public tool includes stats on temperature, wind and air pressure recorded by InSight. Sunday's weather was typical for the lander's location during late northern winter: a high of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) and low of -138 degrees Fahrenheit (-95 degrees Celsius), with a top wind speed of 37.8 mph (16.9 m/s) in a southwest direction. The tool was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, with partners at Cornell University and Spain's Centro de Astrobiología. JPL leads the InSight mission.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/insight-is-the-newest-mars-weather-service
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/20/2019 01:52 pm
Quote
No matter how cold your winter has been, it's probably not as chilly as Mars. Check for yourself: Starting today, the public can get a daily weather report from NASA's InSight lander.

This public tool includes stats on temperature, wind and air pressure recorded by InSight. Sunday's weather was typical for the lander's location during late northern winter: a high of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) and low of -138 degrees Fahrenheit (-95 degrees Celsius), with a top wind speed of 37.8 mph (16.9 m/s) in a southwest direction. The tool was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, with partners at Cornell University and Spain's Centro de Astrobiología. JPL leads the InSight mission.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/insight-is-the-newest-mars-weather-service

Related: https://twitter.com/arstechnica/status/1098211678997614594

Quote
[...] found something of a mystery in the pressure data [...] at around local 7am and 7pm, there are hiccups in what otherwise should be a smooth rise and fall in surface pressures
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: redliox on 02/20/2019 03:54 pm
The mole aka HP3 is finally freed from the arm.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/20/2019 07:51 pm
The mole aka HP3 is finally freed from the arm.

https://twitter.com/landru79/status/1098289407935868929
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/20/2019 08:08 pm
Something that they have not done, but should be possible, is a full panoramic sweep of the entire terrain. It has probably zero scientific value, but there is public relations value do photographs. It would not surprise me if they do something like that once they've achieved their initial scientific results--after all, you wouldn't want to break the arm if it is necessary to re-position something on the surface.

In fact, this appears to be exactly the next objective for the lander: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2019/insight-update-sols-43-83.html
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Nomadd on 02/21/2019 04:39 am
 Do they expect to be able to catch any echoes from the mole hammering?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Phil Stooke on 02/21/2019 06:30 am
about 80 percent of the full panorama was taken on sol 14.  The geomorphology is important to help understand the local geology and inferences about local stratigraphy, so there is lots of science in it.  Here's a version of it - original was by Damia Bouic. 
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/22/2019 02:44 pm
That's some dusty place, look at the amount deposited in a few months!

https://twitter.com/landru79/status/1098946024876531714
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Journeyman on 02/22/2019 11:18 pm
Is it possible for Insight's robot arm to sweep off the dust from the solar panels when power levels start to get too low? Is that something they considered when designing it?

Might be worth a try at the end of primary mission when the reward is worth the risk involved in using the robot arm to clean the solar panel. It might damage the cells but if they don't try Insight will stop working anyway.

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Journeyman on 02/23/2019 01:49 am
That's true for the primary mission duration. But no matter how large the panels are, eventually they will accumulate to much dust and the mission will be over.

There is always more to discover if you can extend the mission. So the question is if the robot arm can be used in any way to clean the panels? Hopefully there will be cleaning events by the Martian winds as was the case for Spirit & Opportunity. But as a latch ditch effort to extend the mission it would be interesting to test if the arm can be used to clean the panels.

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 02/23/2019 03:05 am
Allow me to be so bold as to suggest that the people who designed the spacecraft know what they're doing.
With a mindset like that, we would never get to enjoy literally dozens of unproductive pages about all sorts of ridiculous ways to cost-overrun missions with brushes, compressed air sprays, carry-on drones with Windex spray jets, etc.  ;)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Journeyman on 02/23/2019 02:23 pm
But as a latch ditch effort to extend the mission it would be interesting to test if the arm can be used to clean the panels.

No. There ain't no brush or vacuum cleaner. They're not going to scrape the claw across the solar panels.

Allow me to be so bold as to suggest that the people who designed the spacecraft know what they're doing.

I have no doubt that the people that design and build these space probes know what they are doing. It is not the purpose of this post to even suggest that.

But history has shown how engineers managed to salvage a mission in situations that normally would have ended it. Like Hayabusa, SOHO, Kepler and so on. I'm just curious if there is any scenarios where the arm could be used to clean the panels.

The risk of damaging the panels will be acceptable once you get close to the end. You have nothing to lose by trying, and even if you don't succeed it will give valuable engineering data.

As i see it, the best chance to clean the panels would come from using the bucket at the end of the arm. Info about the bucket at this URL:

https://www.seis-insight.eu/en/public-2/the-insight-mission/the-ida-robotic-arm

"Besides the gripper, InSight's robotic arm also has a bucket with a capacity of roughly 500 g of soil. However, this bucket is not intended for massive excavation works; its main role is to prepare the ground as well as possible before setting the instruments down. It allows engineers to shift a stone that is in the way, flatten a little mound in an otherwise optimal deployment sector, or simply check the nature of the ground."

They will have time to test this on the engineering model on Earth before attempting the same maneuver at Mars. Then starting on a small area of the panel to see how much damage it will do to the solar cells if any. You never know until you try.

We can talk about how effective a vacuum cleaner would be on Mars another time ;-)

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ugordan on 02/23/2019 02:29 pm
As i see it, the best chance to clean the panels would come from using the bucket at the end of the arm.

Actually, the best chance to clean up the panels would be one of those wind "cleaning events" that helped sustain Spirit and Opportunity for as long as they have lasted.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Journeyman on 02/23/2019 02:35 pm
As i see it, the best chance to clean the panels would come from using the bucket at the end of the arm.

Actually, the best chance to clean up the panels would be one of those wind "cleaning events" that helped sustain Spirit and Opportunity for as long as they have lasted.

Yes I agree 100%. That's the best natural solution. This question only becomes an issue if we don't see these natural wind cleaning events as often as we want. The best artificial solution might be using the bucket?

I'm sure the engineers must have had this thought in their mind and either reached the conclusion "its to dangerous don't even think about it". Or that its a possibility that might be worth a try if we ever come to that.

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/23/2019 03:29 pm

Have you ever tried sweeping fine talcum powder from a flat hard surface (stonework floor or a glass table) with a metal scoop? Not a very successful enterprise, unless you can press quite hard against the surface and the edge of the scoop is extremely smooth. Which brings us...


Have you looked at what the edge of Insight's scoop is like? See below why even if scraping hard against the panels was an option, results wouldn't bring us very far towards cleaner panels.

As pointed out before, the scoop wasn't "designed" for specialized uses in Insight: it was just an opportunity to repurpose a component that wasn't really needed after the grapple was added to the arm, but which could turn out handy for objectives of opportunity and didn't either penalize the probe for carrying it. Turned out useful to pull on the SEIS cable, would have assisted in instrument placement had the terrain been more irregular, can dig around to learn more about the site's geology or meteorology (pile up some sand, see how long it takes to get eroded by the wind). All "scoopy" things, not "broomy".
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Journeyman on 02/23/2019 03:53 pm

Have you ever tried sweeping fine talcum powder from a flat hard surface (stonework floor or a glass table) with a metal scoop? Not a very successful enterprise, unless you can press quite hard against the surface and the edge of the scoop is extremely smooth. Which brings us...


Have you looked at what the edge of Insight's scoop is like? See below why even if scraping hard against the panels was an option, results wouldn't bring us very far towards cleaner panels.

As pointed out before, the scoop wasn't "designed" for specialized uses in Insight: it was just an opportunity to repurpose a component that wasn't really needed after the grapple was added to the arm, but which could turn out handy for objectives of opportunity and didn't either penalize the probe for carrying it. Turned out useful to pull on the SEIS cable, would have assisted in instrument placement had the terrain been more irregular, can dig around to learn more about the site's geology or meteorology (pile up some sand, see how long it takes to get eroded by the wind). All "scoopy" things, not "broomy".

Great arguments! So this makes it very unlikely they would try using the scoop to attempt cleaning the panels.

Might be interesting to test it on a tiny area of the panel at the very end of the mission to observe the dynamics of fine Martian dust on flat solar panel surface. And to evaluate the extent of damage it will result in. Might be useful data for future landers / rovers if they want to explore the possibility of adding a "brush" on robotic arms that can be effective in removing dust.

Seems like very little added weight vs the added value of extending the life of the mission. Opportunity lasted 14 years just with the help of wind cleaning events. With the ability to brush off dust from the panels, both Spirit and Opportunity "might" still be roving around.

Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 02/23/2019 04:41 pm
Might be interesting to test it on a tiny area of the panel at the very end of the mission to observe the dynamics of fine Martian dust on flat solar panel surface. And to evaluate the extent of damage it will result in.

As the image I attached shows, the scoop's edge has an opening and, more importantly, is slightly curved. It would just scrape just two lines on the dust, not an extended area.

Such an exercise wouldn't be useful for dust cleaning techniques. Concurrently, arm damage to solar cells would best be tested on ground spares, which isn't needed anyway since the scoop doesn't have any business scraping the cells in the first place.

The day a mission is expected to need solar panel cleaning capabilities to meet its objectives, they will include a proper brush, or blower, or array drives allowing excess dust to fall, or something more ingenuous we aren't thinking of - not a claw awkwardly screeching its robotic nails on a solar chalkboard.

Meanwhile we have a beautiful fully-functional lander with literal intricate clockwork machinery doing science with four instruments (Mars' first really useful seismometer, first penetrator probe, most precise weather station and great geology-oriented radio beacon) and the extra joy and opportunity of a free robotic arm with a scoop. Isn't that more discussion-worthy?
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Journeyman on 02/23/2019 05:08 pm
Might be interesting to test it on a tiny area of the panel at the very end of the mission to observe the dynamics of fine Martian dust on flat solar panel surface. And to evaluate the extent of damage it will result in.

As the image I attached shows, the scoop's edge has an opening and, more importantly, is slightly curved. It would just scrape just two lines on the dust, not an extended area.

Such an exercise wouldn't be useful for dust cleaning techniques. Concurrently, arm damage to solar cells would best be tested on ground spares, which isn't needed anyway since the scoop doesn't have any business scraping the cells in the first place.

The day a mission is expected to need solar panel cleaning capabilities to meet its objectives, they will include a proper brush, or blower, or array drives allowing excess dust to fall, or something more ingenuous we aren't thinking of - not a claw awkwardly screeching its robotic nails on a solar chalkboard.

Meanwhile we have a beautiful fully-functional lander with literal intricate clockwork machinery doing science with four instruments (Mars' first really useful seismometer, first penetrator probe, most precise weather station and great geology-oriented radio beacon) and the extra joy and opportunity of a free robotic arm with a scoop. Isn't that more discussion-worthy?

I see what you mean about the curved scoop.

Its fun to consider "what if" scenarios. Knowing that there probably are technical reasons why they won't work. But still its interesting to learn why they won't work.

And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming about Insight operations at Mars :)
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Phil Stooke on 02/23/2019 07:44 pm
I would rely on wind to clean the panels, but if there was no choice but to use the arm or lose the mission, a more effective approach than scraping would probably be to use the arm to bump the panels a few times, hoping to dislodge dust and let it be carried away by the wind.  Do it at the windiest time of day - we are getting that information - and hope for the best.  But wind will do the trick without any help, I am sure.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/28/2019 04:03 am
I would rely on wind to clean the panels, but if there was no choice but to use the arm or lose the mission, a more effective approach than scraping would probably be to use the arm to bump the panels a few times, hoping to dislodge dust and let it be carried away by the wind.  Do it at the windiest time of day - we are getting that information - and hope for the best.  But wind will do the trick without any help, I am sure.
One of my university professors back in the day said that they really wanted to equip solar powered rovers/landers with air compressors or fans to blow the dust off but that would be a mass hit which NASA would rather spend on instruments.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ncb1397 on 03/02/2019 05:31 am
Quote
Mars could've given us a break, but it didn't. The HP3 mole started hammering itself today, and almost immediately (after just 5 minutes) appears to have encountered a rock. After four hours of hammering, it may have pushed the rock aside, but doesn't appear to have buried itself completely beneath the soil yet, because it's still measuring temperatures consistent with the Martian air temperature. No matter; they'll try again Saturday. Patience is the theme of the InSight mission.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2019/insight-update-sol-92-mole-rock.html
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: ncb1397 on 03/06/2019 05:21 am
Mars InSight Lander's 'Mole' Pauses Digging
Quote
"The team has decided to pause the hammering for now to allow the situation to be analyzed more closely and jointly come up with strategies for overcoming the obstacle," HP3 Principal Investigator Tilman Spohn of DLR wrote in a blog post. He added that the team wants to hold off from further hammering for about two weeks.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/mars-insight-landers-mole-pauses-digging
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Blackstar on 03/06/2019 07:06 pm

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight

If you go there and click back through the images it looks like they are taking individual images of the horizon now, moving the arm a bit each time. So my guess is that this is part of the big panoramic image they want to take.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Phil Stooke on 03/06/2019 08:30 pm
Just the horizon bit of the panorama.  There is approximately 1 full image missing from the full coverage of the horizon.  Below, a stretched version to show subtle topography more clearly.  The sinusoidal shape of the horizon is an artifact (not just due to tilt, it's an error in mosaicking).
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 03/06/2019 09:22 pm
Is it possible for Insight's robot arm to sweep off the dust from the solar panels when power levels start to get too low? Is that something they considered when designing it?

Might be worth a try at the end of primary mission when the reward is worth the risk involved in using the robot arm to clean the solar panel. It might damage the cells but if they don't try Insight will stop working anyway.

It has no brush, so it couldn't do that if they wanted to.

NASA considered solar-panel cleaning systems (compressed air, brushes, etc.) for the MER rovers, and decided they were not worth the weight. It was easier to just make the solar panels a bit larger in order to compensate for dust settling on the panels. InSight's solar panels are similarly designed so that even with some dust cover it will produce enough power to complete the primary mission.

However, last I heard NASA was doing some research into a system which would create an electrostatic charge to push dust off of solar panels. It doesn't have any moving parts, doesn't require a lot of power, and could be run every few days to prevent dust build up. I do not know what the status of that is.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 03/06/2019 10:00 pm
Just the horizon bit of the panorama.  There is approximately 1 full image missing from the full coverage of the horizon.  Below, a stretched version to show subtle topography more clearly.  The sinusoidal shape of the horizon is an artifact (not just due to tilt, it's an error in mosaicking).

Wow they really found a flat and boring bit of Mars. Although I think that's exactly what they wanted for this mission xD It's much less rocky than Viking 2's landing spot.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: jacqmans on 03/14/2019 01:32 pm
#InSight in sight! Among a new showcase of pics from the ESA/Roscosmos Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is an image of the NASA InSight lander – the first time a European instrument has identified a lander on the Red Planet. #Insight arrived on Mars on 26 November 2018 to study the interior of the planet. Images of the lander have already been returned by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, but these are the first images from TGO.

See http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Exploration/ExoMars/InSight_lander_among_latest_ExoMars_image_bounty
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Star One on 03/15/2019 07:52 am
NASA's Insight lander snaps ghostly, hazy Mars sunset (https://www.cnet.com/news/nasas-insight-lander-snaps-ghostly-hazy-mars-sunset/#ftag=CAD-09-10aai5b)

Quote
But watching the sunset over a vast, red, endless desert might be just as good. Especially when that desert is over 150 million miles away.

Thanks to NASA's InSight lander, which has planted itself in Mars' flat, smooth plain Elysium Planitia, you can do just that. The image above was snapped by NASA's most recent Mars transplant on March 10, the robot's 101st day at work on the Martian surface. Stitching a sequence of images by the lander's Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) shows the splendorous sun setting over the Red Planet and disappearing beyond the horizon.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Star One on 03/22/2019 06:54 am
Talks in this article about what options they are considering with the mole.

Engineers still studying problem with InSight heat flow probe (https://spacenews.com/engineers-still-studying-problem-with-insight-heat-flow-probe/)

Quote
Engineers are still trying to understand why one of the main instruments on NASA’s InSight Mars lander is stuck just below the Martian surface.

In presentations at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference here March 18, project officials said they plan to spend the next few weeks determining why the probe on the Heat and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instrument, designed to measure the heat flow in the interior of the planet, is stuck about 30 centimeters below the surface, well short of its desired depth of three to five meters.
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: eeergo on 03/28/2019 03:11 pm
Subtle movements in a timelapse focusing on the mole:

https://twitter.com/landru79/status/1111298657771507712
Title: Re: InSight Mission Updates (Post Landing)
Post by: Star One on 04/13/2019 11:13 pm
Tests for the InSight 'Mole'

A blue box, a cubic metre of Mars-like sand, a rock, a fully-functional model of the Mars 'Mole' and a seismometer – these are the main components with which the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is simulating the current situation on Mars. After its first hammering operation on 28 February 2019, the DLR Heat and Physical Properties Package (HP³), the Mars Mole, was only able to drive itself about 30 centimetres into the Martian subsurface. DLR planetary researchers and engineers are now analysing how this could have happened and looking into what measures could be taken to remedy the situation. "We are investigating and testing various possible scenarios to find out what led to the 'Mole' stopping," explains Torben Wippermann, Test Leader at the DLR Institute of Space Systems in Bremen. The basis for the scientists' work: some images, temperature data, data from the radiometer and recordings made by the French Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) during a brief hammering test conducted on 26 March 2019.

When the NASA InSight lander arrived on the Martian surface, everything looked even better than expected. Although the lander's camera showed numerous rocks some distance away, the immediate surroundings were free of rocks and debris. The reason why the 'Mole' hammered its way quickly into the ground after being placed on the surface of Mars and was then unable to continue its progress is now being diagnosed remotely. "There are various possible explanations, to which we will have to react differently," says Matthias Grott, a planetary researcher and the HP³ Project Scientist. A possible explanation is that the 'Mole' has created a cavity around itself and is no longer sufficiently constrained by the friction between its body and the surrounding sand.

Another type of sand

In Bremen, DLR is now experimenting with a different type of sand: "Until now, our tests have been conducted using a Mars-like sand that is not very cohesive," explains Wippermann. This sand was used during earlier tests in which the 'Mole' hammered its way down a five-metre column in preparation for the mission. Now, the Mole's ground model will be tested in a box of sand that compacts quickly and in which cavities can be created by the hammering process. During some of the test runs, the researchers will also place a rock with a diameter of about 10 centimetres in the sand. Such an obstacle in the subsurface could also be the reason why the HP³ instrument has stopped penetrating further. In all experiments, a seismometer listens to the activity of the Earth-based 'Mole'. During the short 'diagnostic' hammering on Mars, SEIS recorded vibrations to learn more about the Mole's impact mechanism. Comparisons between the data obtained on Mars and the Earth-based tests help the researchers more closely understand the real-life situation. "Ideally, we will be able to reconstruct the processes on Mars as accurately as possible."

'Moles' on Earth as guinea pigs

The next steps will follow once the scientists know what caused the progress of the 'Mole' to come to a halt on 28 February 2019. Possible measures to allow the instrument to hammer further into the ground must then be meticulously tested and analysed on Earth. For this reason, a replica of the HP3 instrument has been shipped to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. There, the DLR researchers' findings can be used to test the interaction of the 'Mole', the support structure and the robotic arm to determine whether, for example, lifting or moving the external structure is the correct solution. "I think that it will be a few weeks before any further actions are carried out on Mars," says Grott. The break in activities for the Mars Mole will only come to an end once a solution has been found for the Earth-based 'Moles'.

https://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10081/151_read-33208/#/gallery/34019