Farewell InSight NASA’s lander has only a few months left to live

(ORDO NEWS) — The InSight lander, which is powered by sunlight, is now battling a buildup of Martian dust on its solar panels – and losing.

Its power has already dropped to one-tenth of its landing power, NASA officials said at a press conference on Tuesday (May 17).

InSight will collect scientific data about Mars for as long as possible, but by the end of the summer it may completely stall.

“As a result of a dust storm that hit Mars in early January, too much dust accumulated on the solar panels, which will soon cause InSight to cease operations forever,” said Bruce Banerdt, InSight mission leader.

Farewell InSight NASAs lander has only a few months left to live 2
The images show the InSight Mars Lander just after it landed in 2018 (left) and in May 2022

“The InSight seismometer will continue to operate for some time, at least intermittently, but by the end of the summer it and other instruments should be turned off,” said Banerdt.

Recall that InSight landed on the Red Planet in November 2018 and conducted unprecedented measurements of seismic activity on Mars, and also recorded the most powerful quake to date.

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