Instrument Context Camera (ICC) photo was acquired on February 6, 2019, Sol 70 of the InSight mission.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s InSight Mars lander has “skirted” the issue of fully deploying the wind and thermal shield (WTS) over the French-built seismometer.

Instrument Context Camera (ICC) photo was acquired on February 2, 2019, Sol 66 of the InSight mission.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Photos taken by the lander’s Instrument Context Camera (ICC) show the gold-coated thermal skirt. The WTS was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The WTS consists of an aerodynamically shaped aluminium cover with a honeycomb structure to which is attached a gold-coated thermal skirt.

The extendable skirt is bordered around its circumference by a kind of chain-mail, not unlike that worn as armor by mediaeval knights.

Ground test of deploying the wind and thermal shield skirt.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPGP/Philippe Labrot

Its weight alone allows the skirt to descend. Its platelet structure cover obstacles such as pebbles, sealing off the WTS.

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