So long, farewell

Goodbye InSight: 11 incredible views of Mars from the groundbreaking mission

The lander’s groundbreaking research will soon come to an end.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Since 2018, the Mars InSight lander has witnessed powerful marsquakes, meteor strikes, and harsh weather on the Red Planet.

But those days are coming to an end.

Back in May, NASA announced that InSight’s energy supply was dwindling because its solar panels are caked with dust.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA/JPL-Caltech

And this week, the organization confirmed that the InSight mission will wrap up soon, though no specific end date was given.

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:

NASA/JPL-Caltech

11. This was InSight’s first photo of the Martian surface on Nov. 26, 2018. The lens cover is still on to protect the camera from dust during landing.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

10. InSight imaged its clean, shiny solar panels shortly after landing.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

9. Say cheese! InSight took a selfie with its robotic arm on Dec. 6, 2018.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

8. On Dec. 19, InSight placed its first instrument on the ground — its seismometer.

7. This was InSight’s view of a clear Martian sunset in April 2019.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA/JPL-Caltech

6. InSight’s seismometer is covered in a protective dome as clouds pass overhead in October 2019.

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.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA/JPL-Caltech

4. InSight scoops dirt onto the seismometer cable to insulate it from fluctuating temperatures and wind in March 2021.

3. In October 2021, InSight detected a meteor strike on the surface of Mars. Here’s the seismograph and sonification (press the volume button in the lower left-hand corner to listen).

2. Completely covered in dust, InSight took this picture of its obscured solar panels in April 2022.

1. InSight also snapped its final selfie in April. Here it is compared to its first selfie in 2018.

NASA/JPL-Caltech