OK so I know it's not "live" given the distances involved (so you can put your pedant hat away), but is there a feed where we can see the images & video from it more or less at the same time as NASA or with only a few minutes delay compared to when NASA gets them.


2 Answers 2


All raw images from InSight are stored here: InSight image archive.

According to this paper that describes the cameras, they can provide one image every ~ 6 seconds, so I don't expect to see video, other than timelapse videos.

Detector summary (ICC and IDC):

  • Detector ADC: 12 bits
  • Pixel Size: 12 x 12 microns
  • Photosensitive area: 1024 x 1024 pixels
  • Fill Factor: 100%
  • CCD readout time: 6.3 seconds
  • Exposure time: 0-406 seconds, in steps of 6.2 msec
  • Full well (nominal): 170,000 e-

How close to 'live' are these images?

  • Photos are stored on board, and sent to one of the Mars orbiters (usually, MRO) during a communications pass (usually 1 per day per orbiter).
  • the orbiter transmits the images to Earth during a scheduled DSN time slot.
  • both the lander and the orbiter can send the data on the next available opportunity, or store it in memory for a later date. This depends on how much data is gathered in a day and whether that all fits in one uplink session. Scientists set priority for each type of data.
  • when the data is received, the images may need to be converted from their raw format to one suitable for viewing in a browser (usually JPEG or PNG). For InSight, the images are transmitted as JPEG so those might be usable as-is.

The first photos arrived on the website on the same day they were taken, so if everything lines up the delay can be short.

  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM: Keep in mind that InSight communicates through the Deep Space Network. There are a lot of spacecraft on or around Mars right now, competing for antenna time. Each spacecraft team has to sign up, pay for, and wait for assigned time slots on DSN. So spacecraft take pictures only when commanded and then store them until the next communication period. The notion of a continuous streaming video feed would not play well with DSN and the charges for dish time would be prohibitively expensive. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Dec 2, 2018 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ The question better answers the question now @DrSheldon. $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Dec 2, 2018 at 15:23

For various reasons NASA does not release the images coming from Mars immediately. They publish them when they want at random times.

The only way to obtain a video, at least until now, is to make gif animations yourself from standalone pictures.

enter image description here

Gif made of 6 pictures taken by InSight during its first 5 days on Mars.

Do not expect anything spectacular in the coming weeks. Come back in one year, or one month if you are impatient, and access this page. NASA promised it would put there all the raw images they want to make public. Accessing this database of pictures daily is simply a waste of time because the updates are rare and when they come show just small changes.

  • $\begingroup$ I find the pictures added 5 days after this answer to be rather varied. $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Dec 7, 2018 at 16:36

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