MarCO-B (Wall-E) approaches Mars
MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took these images as it approached Mars from about 357,300 miles (575,000 kilometers) to 11,200 miles (18,000 kilometers) away, just before NASA's InSight spacecraft landed on Mars on Nov. 26, 2018. MarCO-B flew by Mars with its twin, MarCO-A, to serve as communications relays for InSight as it touched down on the Red Planet. MarCO-B, nicknamed Wall-E, took these images on Sunday, Nov. 25 and Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.
The bright point of light to the left is the corner of MarCO-B's high gain antenna feed and to the right is the high gain antenna, which let the CubeSat communicate with Earth. In this animation, Mars is spinning on its axis from right to left.
The MarCO and InSight projects are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.