NASA breaks record with new photo of Earth

Tiny NASA satellite bound for Mars snaps photo of Earth from thousands of miles away

The two CubeSats will separate from the Atlas V booster after launch and travel along their own trajectories to the Red Planet.

The "Wall-E" CubeSat took a "pale blue dot image" of Earth and the moon from more than 600 thousand miles away.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said, "Exploring the Red Planet with NASA's Mars Helicopter exemplifies a successful marriage of science and technology innovation and is a unique opportunity to advance Mars exploration for the future".

As a bonus, it captured Earth and its moon as tiny specks floating in space.

"MarCO-A and B are our first and second interplanetary CubeSats created to monitor InSight for a short period around landing, if the MarCO pair makes it to Mars", said Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division at the agency's headquarters in Washington. The instrument is of critical importance for transmitting data concerning the mission back to Earth. "CubeSats have never gone this far into space before, so it's a big milestone". 'Both our CubeSats are healthy and functioning properly. "We're looking forward to seeing them travel even farther". The image, which shows both the CubeSat's unfolded high-gain antenna at right and the Earth and its moon in the center, was acquired by MarCO-B, nicknamed "Wall-E", on May 9. That job will fall to NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The tiny satellites will follow the InSight Lander to Mars, as Nasa wants to see if the small satellites can relay information back to Earth.

MarCO-A and MarCO-B - were launched on May 5 along with the InSight lander, a spacecraft that will touch down on Mars and study the planet's deep interior for the first time.

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Dubbed the Mars Helicopter, the USA space agency is aiming to launch it alongside the Mars rover in July 2020.

Each unit, or U, is 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (4 in x 4 in x 4 in) and the cubes can be pieced together to create larger structures. However, now they are sitting as an important part of vast commercial missions.

CubeSats are spacecrafts made from small components that are typically used for research purposes and tend to stay in low-Earth orbit.

NASA shared the image on Tuesday. And in 2018, the first auto began cruising our solar system.

Nasa launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft on September 5 1977, and the Voyager 2 on August 20 1977.

"NASA has a proud history of firsts", said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. However, he said that by taking it, humans would be able to see just how little we are in the grand scale of the universe. The Voyage 1 took the image when it was at a distance of 3.7 billion miles from the Earth.

It's sibling, Voyager 2, is now 11 billion miles from Earth, travelling south towards the interstellar region.

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