The Mars InSight Robot from NASA Signs Off

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InSight has lived in two worlds

The Mars InSight Robot has been around the universe for a long time. It has seen rockets launch from the planet into space. 

The job of the NASA robot InSight on Mars seems complete. And it didn’t find any little green aliens. Monday when InSight’s battery was almost dead, NASA tweeted what might have been its last photo. It was a selfie. It’s just a machine, so yes.

They make it harder for humans to explore the solar system before going away. But someone at NASA had the brilliant idea to make what seemed to be InSight’s last hours a little more human.

Instead of just saying in a press release that the space agency’s mechanical explorer had broken down, someone in charge of InSight’s social media account wrote:

“Even though my power is low, I might be able to send this picture. Don’t worry about me, though; my time here has been productive and quiet. I’ll talk to my mission team as long as I can, but I’ll soon have to leave. I’m glad you decided to stay.”

Decreasing power

InSight stands for Interior Exploration utilizing Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport. It was the first spacecraft to record a marsquake since its lauching on May 5, 2018. According to NASA, the lander’s power levels have been declining for months as a result of dust buildup on its solar panels.

The ground controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California knew that the mission was ending. However, they did not anticipate InSight’s abrupt silence. InSight did not reply to signals from Earth on Sunday, according to NASA’s briefing on Monday.

According to NASA, InSight’s last transmission was about a week ago. The agency stated that “it’s presumed InSight may have reached the end of its activities.”

“What caused the change in its energy is unknown.”

Simply in case

According to NASA experts, the device provided us with one of the most detailed views of Mars that humans have ever experienced. The crust, mantle, and core of Mars were all thoroughly investigated by this first robotic explorer. 

301 million miles, and 612 months later, on November 26, 2018, the spacecraft touched down on Mars. Now it’s ready to retire.

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