Insight’s Robotic Arm Over Martian Soil

An image of InSight's robotic arm, with its scoop and stowed grapple, poised above the Martian soil. The image was received on Dec. 4, 2018 (Sol 8).
December 6, 2018
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NASA's InSight spacecraft took a color-calibrated image of its robotic arm using its Instrument Deployment Camera on Dec. 4, 2018 (Sol 8). The camera still has a transparent dust cover on it, but the robotic arm can clearly be seen above the Martian soil. There is a dark scoop at the end of the arm. Above the scoop is the stowed grapple, the claw that InSight will use to grab and move its instruments from its deck onto the planet's surface. InSight will be the first Mars mission to use a robotic arm to grasp objects and deploy them onto the surface of another planet.

JPL manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

A number of European partners, including France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), are supporting the InSight mission. CNES and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) provided the SEIS instrument, with significant contributions from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland, Imperial College and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and JPL. DLR provided the HP3 instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain's Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) supplied the wind sensors.