NASA’s first picture of Mars from a CubeSat

The MarCO mission by NASA was designed to find out if the briefcase sized spacecraft called the CubeSats could survive the journey to deep space. MarCO, which stands for Mars Cube One, now has Mars in sight.

One of the twin MarCO CubeSats clicked this image of Mars on October 3rd.  This is the first image of the Red Planet ever produced by this class of tiny and low cost spacecraft. The two CubeSats are called MarCO-A and MarCO-B. They are nicknamed “EVE” and “Wall-E” by their engineering team.

A wide-angle camera located on top of the MarCO-B produced this image as a test of exposure settings. The MarCO mission which is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, hopes to gets some more images as the CubeSats approaches Mars ahead of November 26. That is when they will demonstrate their communication capabilities while NASA’s InSight spacecraft attempts to land on the Red Planet.