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Perspective on the View from Out There

16 May 2018, 16:27 UTC
Perspective on the View from Out There
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Although we’ve seen spectacular images from deep space with the help of Voyager, New Horizons and numerous other spacecraft, the view from 1 million kilometers out can still put our world in perspective. Below is what a CubeSat called Mars Cube One (MarCO-B), one of a pair of such diminutive spacecraft, saw from that distance as it turned its camera back toward Earth. At the sides of the image you can see bits of the thermal blanket, the high-gain antenna feed and the HGA itself at the right, but in the center is the place we call home, the Earth-Moon system. You may want to zoom in to see the Moon better.

Image: The first image captured by one of NASA’s Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats. 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 on May 9. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the MarCO CubeSats because they are the first of their type to be sent into deep space. The intention is to use them to relay data about the InSight Mars lander; the CubeSats are a technology demonstration that ...

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