One of two NASA spacecraft in space received this image of Mars on October 2, 2018. This is the first photo of the Red Planet by Cubesat.
A small spacecraft approaching Mars has produced a fresh photo. This is the first Cubesat image of the Red Planet. One of the two ships of MarCO the size of a briefcase made a frame on October 2 at a distance of 12.8 million km from Mars.
The Gemini MarCO-A and MarCO-B started with the InSight landing gear in early May 2018. The main goal of the mission is to prove that Cubesat, whose operations today are limited to the Earth's orbit, are capable of long-distance scientific journeys. The success of this project will allow the use of low-cost and small spacecraft for future space research. MarCO-B took a picture to check the exposure settings of the wide-angle camera. A pair of vehicles will try to transfer home data on the planet from InSight during the attempt to land on Mars. The descent is scheduled for November 26th. But this is not the main task, since there is an orbital MRO that fulfills these requirements.
MarCO will not attempt to land and will fly over the planet. Then the mission will end when engineers analyze and compare health and performance data. The InSight landing gear will measure the underground heat flux and control shocks to understand the internal structure of the Red Planet. These data will help to understand the evolution of rocky planets.