New images from our mars insight lander show its robotic arm is ready to do some lifting. with a reach of nearly 6 feet, the arm will be used to pick up science instruments from the lander's deck, gently setting them on the martian surface at elysium planitia. this image from insight's robotic-arm mounted instrument deployment camera shows the instruments on the spacecraft's deck, with the martian surface of elysium planitia in the background.
the arm will use its instrument deployment camera, located on its elbow, to take photos of the terrain in front of the lander. these images will help mission team members determine where to set insight's seismometer and heat flow probe, the only instruments ever to be robotically placed on the surface of another planet.
placement is critical, and the team is proceeding with caution. two to three months could go by before the instruments have been situated and calibrated.