July 29, 2021

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NASA’s lander InSight, counting its last breaths on Mars, will break prematurely?

 

Washington
american space agency NASA The InSight lander has spent more than two and a half years on Mars. Now its condition is slowly deteriorating. Actually, the dust of Mars has started accumulating on it. Due to accumulation of dust on the solar panels installed in the lander, its power generation is decreasing. This poses a threat to the mission which was to run till the end of 2022.

This lander was collecting data on the seismic activity of Mars. However, now due to lack of power, it may have to be terminated earlier. Since landed in the year 2018, it was generating 5000 watts of electricity every hour, which has now come down to 700 watts. The team hoped that the dust would also be removed due to the winds but it did not happen.

The team also tried to remove it from the robotic arm of the lander, which increased the power generation slightly but that was not enough. Mars is also moving away from the Sun, which will also reduce solar energy. It will last for two months and after that the energy is expected to increase.


Will it be able to withstand the cold nights?
Some work of the lander has also been stopped for less energy consumption. By stopping scientific operations, the lander will be able to save enough energy to keep itself warm during the cold winter nights of Mars. Temperatures here can be as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit (-90 degrees Celsius) at night. In 2018, the InSight lander, which landed at a place named Elysium Planitia, detected 500 earthquakes, observed more than 10,000 dust storms and started measuring the core of the Red Planet.

 

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dust on the rover

dust on the rover

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