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End Of NASA's Historic InSight Mission To Mars

The end of InSight mission to Mars after it made revolutionary findings about the planet's enigmatic innards. Almost 1,530 Martian days were spent in the lander's fixed position. After the lander didn't reply to two communications from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on Wednesday, mission officials declared the program over.

Kenzo Norman
Dec 23, 2022657 Shares26285 Views
Theend of InSight mission to Marsafter it made revolutionary findings about the planet's enigmatic innards. Almost 1,530 Martian days were spent in the lander's fixed position. After the lander didn't reply to two communications from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on Wednesday, mission officials declared the program over.
The mission, abbreviated as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, ended more than four years after it had originally launched on November 26, 2018.
While saying goodbye to a spacecraft is always sad, the fascinating science InSight conducted is cause for celebration. The seismic data alone from this Discovery Program mission offers tremendous insights not just into Mars but other rocky bodies, including Earth.- Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
InSight extended its two-year mission twice. But dust on its solar panels steadily drained the lander's electricity. Mars' dust-driven weather is cold. InSight endured Martian dust storms and dust devils. The intelligent mission crew and Mars wind sometimes cleared the solar panels.
One of InSight's last pictures in April showed red dust building up an impenetrable covering on its solar panels. Despite these hurdles, InSight conserved power to continue research from its location in Elysium Planitia around the Martian equator. It turned off its equipment one by one, listening for Marsquakes till the end.

Mars InSight Mission

It was on November 26th, 2018 when InSight touched down in the Elysium Planitia area of Mars. The stationary lander may not have been as flashy as NASA's famous Mars rovers, but it has completely changed our perspective on the history of the planet and how it was formed. The phrase "taking the vital signs of Mars" became one of InSight's slogans.
The lander's lifespan was extended much beyond its initial goal, until the year 2022. One of the snags InSight encountered was the inability of its burrowing "mole" to progress into the earth. NASA scrapped plans to use the mole to measure Earth's core temperature in early 2021.
The seismometer on InSight has recorded many marsquakes, as well as an absolute unit of a shaker earlier this year. There will be plenty of work for scientists to do analyzing the information gathered by InSight for many years to come.
Dust on Mars was responsible for the loss of NASA's Opportunity rover, and it was also a factor when the InSight lander failed. The organization expected a whirlwind to clear the solar panels on the lander, but it never came. NASA had to shut down research equipment and give the seismometer more priority when power levels dropped.

Challenges To Mars Mission

The route taken by the lander and its instruments was not always smooth. According to NASA, the goal of the self-hammering heat probe, also known as "the mole," was to penetrate at least 16 feet below the surface and document the process of heat loss from the inside.
The InSight team spent over two years beating on it and trying every other known method to get the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package to the surface of Mars. However, the unusual clumping of the dirt did not provide the mole with sufficient friction, and it was effectively deactivated in January 2021.
A meteorite crashes onto Mars, creating a crater where ice fragments may be seen. Like past solar-powered Martian robotic explorers like the Opportunity rover, InSight studied its adversary in great detail before the dust eventually destroyed its mission.
According to NASA, InSight gathered more meteorological data than any previous Mars mission. For four years, it recorded Martian weather predictions, listened to the chill of Martian winters, saw hundreds of sunrises and sunsets, and recorded the strange noises of the wind.
To help prepare for a future human mission to Mars, InSight has provided scientists with a more comprehensive view of the red planet and collected data that will be invaluable.
We’ve thought of InSight as our friend and colleague on Mars for the past four years, so it’s hard to say goodbye,” said Bruce Banerdt, the mission’s principal investigator. “But it has earned its richly deserved retirement.- Bruce Banerdt, the mission’s principal investigator

Final Words

Prior to the end of 2022, InSight sent the last selfie that revealed how thick the dust had become. The seismometer, which was covered by a dome, and the stony Martian terrain were visible in the lander's last photograph, taken on December 11.
My power's really low, so this may be the last image I can send. Don't worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene.- NASA's InSight
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