Instrument Context Camera (ICC).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s InSight Mars lander has made another deployment milestone in readying the probe for performing an agenda of scientific duties.

Following the InSight team finishing fine-tuning the cable position last Sunday — the tether link to the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) now in position on the surface of Mars – that action was just capped by placing the Wind and Thermal Shield (WTS) atop the SEIS.

Instrument Context Camera (ICC).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Honeycomb structure

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

The whole assembly rests on three legs that were to deploy automatically once the robotic arm lifted the dome off the lander’s platform.

The robotic arm’s five grapple fingers close around a handle that resembles a ball on top of a stem. Each of the three items – the seismometer, the Wind and Thermal Shield, and the still to be deployed heat flow probe have one of these handles.

Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) image acquired on February 2, 2019, Sol 66.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Instrument Context Camera (ICC).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The wind and thermal shield (WTS).
Credit: Agence Idé/CNES).

 

Artist concept showing the protective role of the wind and thermal shield (WTS) at the martian surface.
Credit: IPGP/David Ducros

 

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