"NASA’s InSight mission has ended after more than four years of collecting unique science on Mars..."
NASA has officially retired its famous InSight Rover after a successful four years of science on the surface of the Red Planet. And this was something that –regrettably– we saw coming. Because InSight has no built-in wipers, it cannot wipe off the dust accumulated on its solar panels. As dust accumulates on the panels, the lander receives less and less sunlight to recharge its batteries.
The InSight legend
The lander has survived a few gigantic dust storms on the Red Planet, but these have taken their toll on the lander. InSight touched down on the Martian surface on November 26, 2018. Since then, it has changed our understanding of Mars, its interior, and its weather. It has identified over 1,300 Marsquakes, allowed us to hear the sound of the wind on Mars, gifted us with the sound of what Marsquakes are like, and photographed its surroundings showing incredible surface features. The lander was worthy of every penny invested into it.
The last time Insight reported to mission control was December 15, 2022. Scientists had hoped that, despite its low energy levels, it would be able to survive a bit more on Mars. However, until December 21, the mission control has heard nothing but silence from the lander. This has led them to conclude that InSight has given all it had to give. In the latest statement about the mission, NASA wrote, “NASA’s InSight mission has ended after more than four years of collecting unique science on Mars.” As explained by the space agency, mission control had tried to make InSight phone home in two consecutive attempts, but the lander was not heard from. This led them to conclude that InSights solar-powered batteries were completely drained, something engineers call “dead bus.”
Thank you, InSight, for everything!