Under the InSight Lander

I always wondered what it looked like under the InSight Lander since it used thrusters to land.

Here we see the “pits” left by the thrusters, I’m actually surprised at how contained they are, figuring the surface would be more scoured out than it is.

The image above is a NASA contrast enhanced version to make the pits really show up. Here is the non-contrast enhanced image:

Thanks NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Here’s the original caption from NASA:

Thrusters under NASA’s InSight lander churned up soil during landing on Mars. This contrast-enhanced image, Figure 1, which has not been color-corrected, shows two pits excavated by the thrusters.

This image was taken by the Instrument Deployment Camera on InSight’s robotic arm. It was taken on Dec. 14, 2018, the 18th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

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. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.

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 Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (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 Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (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.

For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/insight.