NASA’s InSight falls silent, its mission complete

On December 21, NASA reported that the Mars lander InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) missed replying to its second call from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, likely as a result of the power waning.  This led to NASA officially concluding its four-year mission on Mars. There are several elements that led to the lander’s loss of power, leading many to question how the vehicle could have been saved. Followers of the mission have common questions about how the vehicle could’ve been saved. They also ask about the fate of Mars’ other remaining operational vehicles.

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NASA discovers largest fresh meteoroid impact on Mars in 16 years

Last year, on December 24, NASA’s InSight lander detected a magnitude 4 marsquake, which initially didn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary. Only later did NASA learn that this particular marsquake was quite remarkable, caused by one of the largest meteoroid strikes that NASA has ever seen on Mars.

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NASA’s Insight lander captures sound of meteorites hitting Mars

Unlike Earth, Mars has a relatively thin atmosphere. This makes the planet far more vulnerable to meteorite strikes. In newly released audio from NASA, the Insight lander picks up the vibrations and sounds of four meteoroids striking the planet’s surface.

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NASA InSight lander takes final ‘selfie’ before storing its robotic arm permanently

Last week NASA announced the Martian InSight lander’s mission would conclude by the end of this year due to low power. One of the first steps to get the lander ready for that will be placing the arm into its final resting position. So today, NASA shared InSight’s final selfie using the arm’s camera.

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NASA’s InSight lander dead by year’s end

NASA announced on May 17 that it expects the InSight lander mission to end this year. While it hasn’t gotten as much attention as the Perseverance rover, InSight has made some remarkable discoveries during its lifetime.

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NASA InSight’s mole probe sadly fails to dig into the Martian surface

NASA’s InSight lander was launched back in 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base on an Atlas V rocket and was the first interplanetary mission from California. The lander made it safely to the surface of Mars on November 26, carrying new experiments to learn more about Mars subsurface science.

The two big experiments that took the ride to the Red Planet were a seismometer and “self-hammering nail” to study the thermal properties below the surface of Mars nicknamed “the mole”. The mole ran into problems almost right away after it was lifted off the top of the lander and placed on the ground in late 2019.

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NASA’s InSight lander captures over 400 Mars quakes, measures ancient rock magnetism

NASA’s InSight Mars lander touched down one year ago after a six month journey from Earth to the Red Planet. Today six papers were published with a year of science learned through year one of the lander mission.

A new understanding of Mars is beginning to emerge, thanks to the first year of NASA’s InSight lander mission. Findings described in a set of six papers published today reveal a planet alive with quakes, dust devils and strange magnetic pulses.

Five of the papers were published in Nature. An additional paper in Nature Geoscience details the InSight spacecraft’s landing site, a shallow crater nicknamed “Homestead hollow” in a region called Elysium Planitia.

InSight is equipped to detect Mars quakes, wind speed, air pressure, and more.

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