Mars cubesats take picture of Earth and Moon


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One of the two MarCO cubesats heading to Mars on the first interplanetary cubesat mission, has taken its a picture of the Earth and the Moon.

NASA set a new distance record for CubeSats on May 8 when a pair of CubeSats called Mars Cube One (MarCO) reached 621,371 miles (1 million kilometers) from Earth. One of the CubeSats, called MarCO-B (and affectionately known as “Wall-E” to the MarCO team) used a fisheye camera to snap its first photo on May 9. That photo is part of the process used by the engineering team to confirm the spacecraft’s high-gain antenna has properly unfolded.

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

In a few weeks the two cubesats will make a mid-course correction, also the first time a cubesat has attempted such a thing.

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4 comments

  • Localfluff

    Cubesats would be great for flyby missions to the outer Solar system. At approach the instrument separate as smallsats, each passing at an optimal altitude or moon and around the planet. The mother spacecraft then relays the data back home. A multi-probe flyby would be a bit like “clipping” a moon’s or planet’s orbit by orbiting its host.

  • Judy

    If the first one is MarCO, the next one launched should be Planetary Observer Location Optimizer (POLO)!

  • MarcusZ1967

    Judy
    In space, no one can hear you scream.

    MarCO

    POLO

  • Orion314

    Hopefully , this will put in another dent in the ‘flat earth’ agenda. The only explanation of which I heard that makes sense is:
    “If we can get you to believe in a flat earth. you” you’ll believe ANYTHING we say”

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