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Dusty demise for NASA Mars lander in July; power dwindling


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise.

The Insight lander is losing power because of all the dust on its solar panels. NASA said Tuesday it will keep using the spacecraft's seismometer to register marsquakes until the power peters out, likely in July. Then flight controllers will monitor InSight until the end of this year, before calling everything off.

"There really hasn't been too much doom and gloom on the team. We're really still focused on operating the spacecraft," said Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Bruce Banerdt, the principal scientist.

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes; the biggest one, a magnitude 5, occurred two weeks ago.

https://phys.org/news/2022-05-dusty-demise-nasa-mars-lander.html

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Instead of losing the Lander, NASA should send a highly trained chimp with replacement batteries. :yes:

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These NASA people are one smart bunch aren't they? Solar panels covered in dust halt the mission? That they couldn't anticipate? Was this the first probe they ever sent to Mars? Shouldn't they just have installed wipers on those panels, like on a windscreen? I must be missing something here...
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

More:

NASA's InSight lander: The lonely fate of a robot on Mars

The InSight lander will be sleeping, and it could wake up some time in the future. The instruments will be turned off and it will enter a mode where it's no longer even awake in a way that we could talk to it routinely. But the operations team can put software in place such that if it were to regain power, by, say, the solar panels being cleared by a strong gust of wind, there would be a way for us to communicate with it, or the lander could message us.

https://phys.org/news/2022-05-nasa-insight-lander-lonely-fate.html

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On 5/18/2022 at 9:55 AM, acute said:

Instead of losing the Lander, NASA should send a highly trained chimp with replacement batteries. :yes:

Hi Acute

And a squeegee to clean the dust off the solar panels.:D

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