MADRID, Dec. 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –
NASA assumes that its InSight lander on Mars may have reached the end of its operations, as it did not respond to communications sent from Earth on December 18.
“Power to the lander has been declining for months, as expected, and it is assumed that InSight may have reached the end of its operations.” explains the agency in a statement. It is unknown what has caused the change in his energy; the last time the mission contacted the spacecraft was on December 15, 2022. However, attempts to contact InSight will continue.
“My power is really low, so this (above) may be the last image I can send. Don’t worry about me though – my time here has been productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team , I will, but I will close the transmission here soon. Thank you for staying with me,” it can be read on the mission’s Twitter account.
Insight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) was launched on May 5, 2018 and arrived at Mars on November 26 of that year. After four years of mission, in which he investigated the interior of Mars with a seismometer and a heat probe, as well as meteorology and the magnetic field, the accumulation of dust on its solar panels has ended up preventing the batteries from recharging.
NASA will declare the mission over when InSight loses two consecutive communication sessions with spacecraft in Mars orbit but only if the cause of the loss of communication is the lander itself, said JPL network manager Roy Gladden. After that, NASA’s Deep Space Network will listen for a while, just in case.