Index – Tech-Science – The Mars probe finally fell silent

NASA’s InSight geological probe on Mars has run out of power. The device didn’t log in to ground control over the weekend, so its last photo was posted on Twitter on Monday along with a short farewell message.

At the beginning of November, the storm completely covered InSight’s solar panels with sand. The efficiency of the solar panels was already severely limited by the dust, but by this point it was already known that the device had been left without a power source and would likely become inoperable within weeks.

The device was named InSight, which means insight – or rather sight – at the very beginning of the design, in 2012, rather than a geophysical monitoring station, which perfectly describes its function. The task of seismic, geodetic and thermal conductivity measurements already fits into the new and concise acronym. The main goal was to get to know the interior of Mars.

InSight was launched from Earth in May 2018 and arrived at the red planet, Elysium Planitia, in November. The cost of the hull weighing 358 kilograms is about 850 million dollars. Its operating time was a planned two years, but it exceeded the plan by a modest one hundred percent and had a maturity of four years.

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During its lifetime, the probe has detected about 1,300 Martian earthquakes, the most powerful of which occurred in May of this year. He also discovered the spread of seismic waves and the energy of meteorites colliding with the detectors glimpseextending into the planet.

Thanks to the InSight data, we also know that Mars has a larger-than-expected core of iron, nickel and sulfur, surrounded by a mantle of silicate, and that the planet’s crust is 50 kilometers thicker than Earth’s.

Don’t get more light

However, Mars is not a kind world. With everything covered in dust, the solar panels were only operating at 20 percent capacity this summer, so control turned off all instruments except the priority seismometer. During the last storm, the latter was also turned off, only turning on again when it was already known that the song was over and they were working on their last charge.

The 30-person team only considers the mission complete if InSight misses two check-ins with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is transmitting its data. This just happened. NASA’s antenna network continues to monitor the rover’s channel if it vibrates and You take backNot.

(Ars TechnicaAnd the CnetAnd the NASAAnd the