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Topic: MarCO-A

NASA MarCo CubeSats communicate with Earth, sends image of Mars

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA –  NASA’s MarCO mission was built to see whether two experimental, briefcase-sized spacecraft could survive the trip to deep space, and the two CubeSats proved more than able. After cruising along behind NASA’s InSight for seven months, they successfully relayed data back down to Earth from the lander during its descent to the Martian surface on Monday, November 26th, 2018.

Nicknamed “EVE” and “WALL-E” after the stars of the 2008 Pixar film, MarCO-A and MarCO-B used experimental radios and antennas, providing an alternate way for engineers to monitor the landing.

MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (7,600 kilometers) away during its flyby of the Red Planet on Nov. 26, 2018. MarCO-B was flying by Mars with its twin, MarCO-A, to attempt to serve as communications relays for NASA's InSight spacecraft as it landed on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (7,600 kilometers) away during its flyby of the Red Planet on Nov. 26, 2018. MarCO-B was flying by Mars with its twin, MarCO-A, to attempt to serve as communications relays for NASA’s InSight spacecraft as it landed on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Insight Lander set for Landing on Mars

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft is on track for a soft touchdown on the surface of the Red Planet on November 26th, 2018 the Monday after Thanksgiving.

But it’s not going to be a relaxing weekend of turkey leftovers, football and shopping for the InSight mission team. Engineers will be keeping a close eye on the stream of data indicating InSight’s health and trajectory, and monitoring Martian weather reports to figure out if the team needs to make any final adjustments in preparation for landing, only five days away.

An artist's impression of NASA InSight's entry, descent and landing at Mars, scheduled for November 26th, 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An artist’s impression of NASA InSight’s entry, descent and landing at Mars, scheduled for November 26th, 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA CubeSats Steer make trajectory correction for Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has achieved a first for the class of tiny spacecraft known as CubeSats, which are opening new access to space.

Over the past week, two CubeSats called MarCO-A and MarCO-B have been firing their propulsion systems to guide themselves toward Mars. This process, called a trajectory correction maneuver, allows a spacecraft to refine its path to Mars following launch.

Both CubeSats successfully completed this maneuver; NASA’s InSight spacecraft just completed the same process on May 22nd.

An artist's concept of one of NASA's MarCO CubeSats. The twin MarCOs are the first CubeSats to complete a trajectory correction maneuver, firing their thrusters to guide themselves toward Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An artist’s concept of one of NASA’s MarCO CubeSats. The twin MarCOs are the first CubeSats to complete a trajectory correction maneuver, firing their thrusters to guide themselves toward Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to launch first pair of CubeSats designed for Deep Space

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Many of NASA’s most iconic spacecraft towered over the engineers who built them: think Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, Cassini or Galileo — all large machines that could measure up to a school bus.

But in the past two decades, mini-satellites called CubeSats have made space accessible to a new generation. These briefcase-sized boxes are more focused in their abilities and have a fraction of the mass — and cost — of some past titans of space.

In May, engineers will be watching closely as NASA launches its first pair of CubeSats designed for deep space. The twin spacecraft are called Mars Cube One, or MarCO, and were built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats -- a kind of modular, mini-satellite -- attempting to fly to another planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An artist’s rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats — a kind of modular, mini-satellite — attempting to fly to another planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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