NASA’s InSight Probe on Mars to End Operations

As dust accumulates on the solar panels, the probe, which is already operating with only a tenth of the energy every day, will soon find its battery dead.

After nearly four years of probing the bowels of Mars, the InSight probe will end its operations this summer after dust has accumulated on its solar panels. But the data collected will be used by scientists around the world to improve our understanding of planet formation for many years, NASA said Tuesday.

Specifically equipped with an ultra-sensitive seismometer, InSight has recorded more than 1,300 “marsquakes,” including a magnitude 5 only two weeks ago, the largest ever.

no more battery

A nice reward right before you clap: Around the month of July, the seismometer will be turned off. The energy level of the probe would then be checked approximately once a day, and some still pictures could be taken. Then the mission will be stopped completely by the end of 2022.

Reason: Over the past few months, the accumulation of Martian dust on two solar panels, each about 2.2 meters in width. The speed of the dust accumulation was more or less in line with what the NASA teams had previously estimated.

great progress

InSight, one of four robots currently on the Red Planet, along with the American rovers Perseverance and Curiosity and the Chinese Xurong, arrived at Mars in November 2018. Its French-made seismometer has made great strides since then.

Bruce Bannert, who has been working on this mission for more than ten years, explained that the interior of Mars was “a big question mark” until now. Thanks to InSight, “for the first time in history, we have been able to map the interior of Mars.” Seismic waves, which vary according to the material through which they pass, paint a picture of the planet’s bowels.

See also  Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra reportedly has 6 cameras

For example, scientists were able to confirm that the core of Mars is indeed liquid, and to determine the thickness of the Martian crust, less dense than previously hypothesized and possibly composed of three layers. .

Given the success of the seismometer, NASA plans to use the technology elsewhere in the future, with planetary science director Lori Glaze saying: “We really want to establish a full network on the Moon to understand whether Happening. .”

You May Also Like

About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.