So long, farewell
The lander’s groundbreaking research will soon come to an end.
Since 2018, the Mars InSight lander has witnessed powerful marsquakes, meteor strikes, and harsh weather on the Red Planet.
Back in May, NASA announced that InSight’s energy supply was dwindling because its solar panels are caked with dust.
NASA/JPL via Wikimedia Commons
The InSight command team is waiting for the lander to miss two consecutive communication sessions with the spacecraft orbiting Mars that it regularly pings with updates.
Then, the mission will officially be declared over.
NASA via Giphy
Though communications are dwindling, InSight’s trove of data gathered over its four-year mission will continue to give scientists insight into Mars’ geology, climate, terrain, and more.
Here are 11 highlights from InSight’s time on the red planet:
10. InSight imaged its clean, shiny solar panels shortly after landing.
8. On Dec. 19, InSight placed its first instrument on the ground — its seismometer.
5. InSight attempted to bury its temperature-sensing probe called the mole, but the soil proved too dense. Here is the mole in January 2021, partially buried.
4. InSight scoops dirt onto the seismometer cable to insulate it from fluctuating temperatures and wind in March 2021.
2. Completely covered in dust, InSight took this picture of its obscured solar panels in April 2022.