After sending the message about the successful landing of InSight, a small satellite MarCO-B sent the last photo of Mars
A couple of small MarCO satellites have proven their functionality near an alien planet. For the first time, such a technology got out of the earth orbit and provided an instantaneous signal transmission about the success of the mission. Moreover, one of them managed to get an approximate look at Mars!
MarCO satellites were launched from Earth with the NASA InSight landing gear in May 2018. During the descent of the landing platform, MarCO collected sound signals and transmitted them back to Earth in order to confirm the success of the operation in a few minutes. But the satellites did even more, as they sent a new photo. Each MarCO satellite has a camera. Previously, we could already see a beautiful snapshot of Mars on November 24, where it seemed to be just a small dot against the black space. But the image from November 26 shows a large planet. A shot was received 10–15 minutes after the landing of the InSight with a satellite distance of 7,500 km.
After completing this task, the MarCO couple flew past Mars and continued steady orbit around the Sun. Gradually, the ships will move away from the Earth, but the satellite team hopes to study in detail their functionality in space and check what Cubesat technology is capable of.