Thursday, February 22, 2024

NASA’s InSight rover end of scientific life but the work is just beginning 

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Market Desk (science): Dusty solar panels and darker skies expected to bring about the Mars rover’s retirement before the end of 2022.

Since landing on Mars in late 2018, NASA’s InSight Mars lander has paved the way for groundbreaking discoveries that will be studied for decades, according to a team of researchers heading the interplanetary expedition. But the rover is gradually losing power, forcing scientists to prepare for the sunset of their mission sometime in this summer.

Using an advanced suite of instruments attached to InSight short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport – NASA Jet Propulsion Lab leaders hasspent the last year on Mars, equivalent to 2 Earth years, exploring the planet’s interior and geological activity to learn more about the formation and evolution of the red planet.

By December of 2022, InSight is expected to have witnessed more than 1,300 marsquakes – thename for earthquakes on Mars that have been detected during its 1,200 days on Martian soil.

Although this has collected and sent huge data for scientists around the world, this information will continue to be researched for many years. The information will help to understand the nature of the structure of the planet. On Tuesday, NASA announced the imminent completion of the Insight Lander.

The power level of lander will now be checked once a day and some tests will be done. Pictures can still be found. After that, the mission will be completed by the end of 2022.

Having worked on Mars for more than a decade, InSight’s Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdtsaid he feels a personal connection to the rover he shares a birthday accordingly.

“So scientists are going to be very busy even for another probably half year after the spacecraft is no longer operating,” Banerdt said. “But that’s just the beginning” since the data will be readily available to the entire scientific community.

“We’ve made incredible advances in understanding the interior of Mars that are not likely to be improved for decades,”

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