One of NASA’s Mars robots took one final selfie while finally shutting down.
The agency on Monday released a photo of the InSight lander covered in red Martian dust, along with an announcement that the robot’s arms will soon be placed in a “retirement pose” when it begins to permanently cease operations, according to a press release . Because its solar panels are covered in dust, it produces less electricity. As such, it won’t be able to perform its usual functions in the coming months.
Compared to his first selfie taken on December 6, 2018, you can really see the difference a few years on Mars with no vacuum can make with a lander.
InSight was launched to the Red Planet on May 5, 2018 and landed six months later as part of a mission to study the deep interior of Mars. Over the course of more than four years, InSight collected valuable data on the seismic activity on the planet. In fact, it detected the first-ever quake on another planet and has since recorded more than 1,300 “Marsquakes.”
The lander has also been able to collect data on the Red Planet’s weather patterns, surviving several dust and wind storms in recent years. The information will help guide future Mars missions, including colonization efforts for decades to come. The agency said the lander is now expected to switch to a lower power mode to continue detecting seismic events in July 2022 and will formally cease operations in December 2022.
InSight can rest easy knowing that its scientific discoveries will survive and we continue our efforts to colonize the solar system. Hopefully the next time we fly to Mars someone will remember to pack a feather duster.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/nasas-insight-lander-takes-one-last-dusty-selfie-before-it-shuts-down-for-good?source=articles&via=rss NASA’s InSight Lander takes one last dusty selfie before finally shutting down