InSight Mars Lander Snaps Dusty Selfie on Red Planet

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NASA’s InSight Mars lander has taken its second selfie, and the photo shows just how much has changed for the spacecraft over the past few months.

InSight captured its first selfie on Dec. 6, just a week and a half after touching down on the Red Planet. In that photo, the lander looks shiny and new, and its two main science instruments — a seismometer suite and a burrowing heat probe called “the mole” — remain attached to the robot’s deck.

The second selfie, which NASA released on May 6, shows a thin layer of dust covering the lander. And InSight’s deck looks pretty bare, because the heat probe and seismometer are gone. The lander has placed both pieces of equipment on the ground using its robotic arm — the seismometer on Dec. 19 of last year and the mole on Feb. 12. (InSight also dropped a wind-dampening shield over the seismometer in early February.)

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