NASA’s MarCO Cubesats Transmit Data From InSight to Deep Space Network

NASA has announced its two Mars Cube One satellites have transmitted information from the InSight spacecraft to the agency’s Deep Space Network in real time, SpaceNews.com reported.

The MarCO cube satellites, launched in May as secondary payloads, were designed to relay telemetry from InSight to monitor the spacecraft’s landing. The CubeSats received UHF data from InSight during its entry, descent and landing on Mars before transferring the information through X-band frequencies to NASA’s worldwide spacecraft communications network.

The MarCO mission is slated to run for two more weeks, and will see the spacecraft transmit more data that may include images of Mars and the health of the two satellites.

Andy Klesh, chief engineer of the MarCO effort, said that NASA officials are discussing plans for an extended mission for the twin CubeSats.

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