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NASA’s InSight lander to use Robotic Arm to study Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – If you’ve ever played the claw machine at an arcade, you know how hard it can be to maneuver the metal “hand” to pick up a prize. Imagine trying to play that game when the claw is on Mars, the objects you’re trying to grasp are far more fragile than a stuffed bear and all you have is a stitched-together panorama of the environment you’re working in. Oh, and there might be a dust storm.

NASA’s InSight lander, slated to arrive on Mars November 26th, 2018, will be the first mission to use a robotic arm to grasp instruments from the spacecraft and release them into place on another planet. These instruments will help scientists study the deep interior of Mars for the first time.

NASA's InSight mission tests an engineering version of the spacecraft's robotic arm in a Mars-like environment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The five-fingered grapple on the end of the robotic arm is lifting up the Wind and Thermal Shield, a protective covering for InSight's seismometer. The test is being conducted under reddish "Mars lighting" to simulate activities on the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s InSight mission tests an engineering version of the spacecraft’s robotic arm in a Mars-like environment at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The five-fingered grapple on the end of the robotic arm is lifting up the Wind and Thermal Shield, a protective covering for InSight’s seismometer. The test is being conducted under reddish “Mars lighting” to simulate activities on the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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