almost time to say goodbye to another Martian friend. Many missions to the Red Planet went silent for the last time, some after many years of successful data collection, and some after a brief freefall like a fireball. We will soon add another Martian explorer to this ever-growing list – insight he may have sent his last image home.
this picture he is like the hundreds the probe has sent back to Earth over the past four years. At the center of the image is the vehicle’s seismometer, which focuses on collecting relevant data. earthquakes and its data has been used in dozens of newspapers. In this image, however, it is conspicuously covered in fine red dust that obscures everything on the Red Planet.
Here is the image taken on November 6, 2022:
This dust also covers the InSight’s power supply. More and more of the solar panels are covered in bulk and can therefore supply less and less power to the all-terrain vehicle. Unfortunately, InSight had good or bad luck in being in a generally quiet zone for Martian dust demons. While the tools themselves are difficult to handle in the process, dust devils also do a pretty good job of cleaning up dust-covered solar panels.
Another fact in the increased dust accumulation was a design decision made by the InSight team at the start of the project. Various methods can help remove dust from solar panels. Compressed air and wiper blades, similar to those found in cars, are two of the most common. However, InSight’s engineers decided not to include such a system in their probe.
Making such decisions is one of the hardest parts of engineering. Dust removal systems add weight and therefore cost more both in their design and in getting them to Mars. Launch costs still take up a significant portion of a project’s budget, so every system is scrutinized to see if it’s really necessary. In the case of Insight, the team determined that there was no dust removal system.
There was one very important factor that led to this decision – Insight’s relatively short expected tenure as a whole. It was planned to last only one Earth year. Four permanent endings.
What’s next for InSight
JPL video discussing InSight’s achievements. Credits – NASA JPL YouTube Channel
The Mission performed better than its original expectations, even without a dust removal system. And Insight has cemented its position as one of the most prolific Mars probes to this point. His data has been the basis for dozens of papers, and we’ve come to understand everything from the presence (or therefore lack of) liquid water around the land to finding some magma in the same area.
This type of data would make any science team proud, and those interested in Insight have had plenty of time to see the end come. UT first reported power problems in May. However, as it continues to strengthen over the past six months, it may be time to say goodbye to Inner Exploration using the Seismic Surveys, Geodesy and Heat Transport missions. He will not be forgotten, and will even be brought back to life one day when people set foot on the landscape that only he has ever seen.
This article was originally published at: Universe Today by Andy Tomaswick. To read original article here.
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