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NASA InSight beams back gritty first image after Mars landing

NASA's new eyes on Mars open wide for a fascinating first view of the Red Planet.

insightnasafirstimage

NASA's InSight lander shared its first view from the surface. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA once again made space history on Monday with the successful landing of the InSight mission onto the surface of Mars. Now we know what the lander's new home away from Earth looks like.

InSight beamed back its first image from Mars shortly after landing at 11:54 a.m. PT. It shows an enigmatic view of the planet with the horizon visible in the distance. You can see part of the lander and what is likely a collection of dusk particles clinging to a dust cover over the camera. 

While InSight's main mission goals are hidden away out of sight under the planet's surface, it is equipped with two cameras designed for navigation and hazard avoidance. The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) is mounted on an arm and can take full-color images of the surrounding landscape. 

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A fisheye camera called the Instrument Context Camera (ICC) is mounted on the front of the lander and can snap views of the machine's workspace. The ICC delivered the lander's first image.

Both cameras will eventually shed their protective dust covers, giving us a clearer look at the landscape.

InSight is set to investigate the deep interior of Mars, which includes using a mole-like instrument to burrow into the ground to take the planet's temperature. NASA hopes to learn more about how rocky planets like Mars and Earth are formed.