A spacecraft landing on Mars may experience the ultimate awe-inspiring sight at home

A spacecraft landing on Mars may experience the ultimate awe-inspiring sight at home
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Time is running out saying goodbye to another Martian friend. Many missions to the Red Planet have gone silent for the last time, some after years of successful data collection, others after a brief freefall like a fireball. We’ll soon add another Mars explorer to the ever-growing list β€” InSight he could feel his last picture at home.

The picture It is similar to hundreds of others the probe has sent to Earth over the past four years. In the center of the image is a seismometer focused on collecting information about the ship earthquakes and their data have been used in dozens of articles. In this image, the fine red dust that covers everything on the Red Planet is visibly obscured.

Here is an image taken on November 6, 2022:

That dust also covers InSight’s power source. Its solar panels are collectively more covered and therefore able to provide less and less power to the lander itself. Unfortunately, InSight also had good or bad luck settling into the general quiescence region for Martian dust devils. While the tools are difficult to control while they are happening, dust devils also do a pretty good job of cleaning dust-covered solar panels.

Another factor in the increased dust accumulation was a design decision the InSight team made at the start of the project. Various methods can help remove dust from solar panels. Compressed air, similar to those found in cars, and wiper blades are two of the most common. But InSight’s engineers decided not to include such a system in their probe.

In another new image, InSight uses its robotic arms to scratch some of the surrounding regolith.Credit – NASA / JPL-Caltech

Making these kinds of decisions is one of the hardest parts of engineering. Dust removal systems add weight and therefore cost more money both to design and to get them to Mars. Start-up costs still take up a significant portion of the project’s budget, so each system is checked to see if it’s really necessary. In the case of Insight, the team determined that there was no dust extraction system.

There was one important factor that led to this decision – the relatively short expected mission duration of Insight as a whole. It was only planned to last one Earth year. Four continued.

What’s next for InSight?

JPL video discussing InSight’s achievements. Credit – NASA JPL YouTube Channel

Even without the dust removal system, the mission exceeded initial expectations. And Insight has cemented its position as one of the most productive Mars probes to date. His data has been the basis of dozens of papers, and we’ve learned everything from the presence (or lack thereof) of liquid water around the lander to the discovery of some magma in the same area.

This kind of data would make any scientific team proud, and those involved with Insight have plenty of time to see the end coming. UT first reported the electrical problems in May. However, although it has continued to gain momentum over the past six months, it may be time to bid a final farewell to Interior Intelligence using the Seismic Surveys, Geodesy and Thermal Transport missions. He will not be forgotten, and may even be brought back to life someday when people trample the sight that only he has ever seen.

This article was originally published Universe today By Andy ThomaswickπŸ‡§πŸ‡· read it original article hereπŸ‡§πŸ‡·

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