NASA satellite snaps adorable Earth portrait on way to Mars

Ученые на Земле нашли следы древних инопланетян из Марса

NASA's Mars Insight mission soaked up all the glory on launch day on May 5, but the lander had a couple of less-well-known companions.

One of the CubeSats, called MarCO-B used a fisheye camera to snap its first photo on May 9. The late Carl Sagan, a member of the Voyager imaging team, had the idea of pointing the spacecraft back toward home for one last look.

Voyager 1 and 2 took advantage of a once in a lifetime event where a spacecraft could use the gravitational pull from different celestial bodies to visit all four giant outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Instead of the pale blue dot resemblance, there is now no such similarities between the Cubesats (MarCO-A and MarCO-B) and the Voyager 1 of 1990.

"CubeSats have never gone this far into space before, so its a big milestone".

MarCO's softball-size radio provides both UHF (receive only) and X-band (receive and transmit) functions capable of immediately relaying information received over UHF. "Were looking forward to seeing them travel even farther", said Andy Klesh, MarCOs chief engineer at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US.

The 1990 photo showed Earth as a bluish speck of cosmic dust floating in a sunbeam. The Mars Helicopter, a small autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with NASA'sMars 2020 rover mission, scheduled to launch in July 2020, in a effort to demonstrate the viability of heavier-than-air vehicles on Mars. Earlier this week, they also proved the concept of small robotic satellites might be a game changer.

The MarCO spacecraft are the first CubeSats ever launched to deep space.

Ученые на Земле нашли следы древних инопланетян из Марса
Mars may have harboured life in past

It takes from about four minutes to nearly as much as a half-hour for light to travel from Mars to Earth, depending on where the planets are in their orbits.

A cubesat is a miniature satellite that has been sent into space.

These can include 1.5, 2, 3, 6, and even 12U objects. The better news is that Earth and the moon showed up in the frame as well.

CubeSats were originally developed for experiment and research purposes, but now they form a critical part of major commercial missions, NASA said in a release.

Nasa made a decision to release the image taken by the minuscule satellites in homage to one of the space exploration programmes most famous predecessors, the Voyager missions. Also, they've already established a new world's record as they've become since may 8th the most distant satellites ever, as they've passed the 621,371 miles away from Earth checkpoint.

"NASA has a proud history of firsts", said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

'They have educated us to the unknown wonders of the universe and truly inspired humanity to continue to explore our solar system and beyond'.

If the tests work, NASA will be closer to exploring the Red Planet in a different way. Voyager 1 is now 13 billion miles away from Earth, travelling northward through space. Since they're cubesats, each one fits inside a standard frame measuring 14.4 x 9.5 x 4.6-inches (36.6 x 24.3 x 11.8 centimeters).

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