NASA reveals plan to squeeze extra life from dying Mars lander

NASA's Mars InSight Lander will remain in pursuit of marsquakes for a while by extending its seismometer's period of operation.

Published Jun 28, 2022 6:05 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Jul 22 2022 5:34 AM CDT

NASA's InSight Mars Lander first landed on Mars on November 26th, 2018, and took its first selfie ten days later.

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Its final selfie was taken on April 24, 2022, and comprises multiple images taken by its Instrument Deployment Camera and stitched together. All of the dust now covering InSight and its solar panels has dramatically reduced its power output. Therefore, it was scheduled to gradually shut down its remaining instruments until running out of power around December.

The seismometer, Insight's last operational science instrument, was to be automatically shut down by the end of June to conserve power. However, the team has decided to allow the lander to continue using the seismometer until either the end of August or early September so that it can continue to gather scientific data for longer. Unfortunately, while remaining active to detect more marsquakes, InSight's batteries will discharge more quickly, and the spacecraft will ultimately completely lose power sooner.

"InSight hasn't finished teaching us about Mars yet. We're going to get every last bit of science we can before the lander concludes operations," said Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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