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This Is Probably InSight's Last Image

NASA has lost contact with the lander but the mission is not dead yet.

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Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

author

Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

Alfredo (he/him) has a PhD in Astrophysics on galaxy evolution and a Master's in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces.

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

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A fishlense view of the seismometer on mars. The soil is red and the device is cover in dust
This is likely to be the last image from InSight. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's InSight is likely about to end its mission. The lander has shared its latest – and probably last – image with mission control, and it is struggling with power. Dust covers its solar panels, and with fewer hours of sunlight due to the changing seasons, there is not enough juice to keep it going. 

NASA has now confirmed that InSight missed its communication on Sunday, December 18. They haven't heard from it since December 15. The procedure is to wait for two missed communication to confirm that the mission has indeed ended. There will be no further attempts at establishing contact. 

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The mission has lasted over twice as long as originally intended, measuring marsquakes, meteor impacts, and the internal properties of Mars. The lander's seismometer continued to work to the very last moment continuing to produce data that will be analyzed for decades to come. 


ARTICLE POSTED IN

spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy
  • tag
  • nasa,

  • Mars,

  • Astronomy,

  • InSight

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