Another dust storm could kill the fighting lander for good.
NASA’s Insight lander is in trouble.
Insight, which has been doing important research since landing on the surface of Mars in 2018, is stuck in it. Very dusty Its solar panels cannot use enough power to operate, Inside Reports. NASA is gradually downgrading Insight’s tools and launching the lander in hibernation mode to save energy, and the company looks confident that it will pull it off. But the weather on Mars is unpredictable, and another dust storm could be enough to kill the rover for good.
Zombies vs Planets
NASA typically relies on the powerful gases of the wind to remove solar panels from its Mars landers and rovers. But there is no air in Elysium Planetia, the landing place of Insight, so a dangerous amount of dust has accumulated.
Next month, Inside According to reports, NASA scientists will bring Insight to a state of complete inactivity so that it can conserve its batteries and remain fully operational until the start of Tuesday summer. Insight’s batteries are also dying, and Insight’s chief investigator Bruce Bonnett expects the planet to return like a “zombie spacecraft” as it travels closer to the sun.
“We hope it can be revived, especially if it hasn’t slept or died in a long time,” Bonard said. Inside. “But it’s going to be a bad situation.”
But without power or heat, many of Insight’s tools and components, Bonard said Inside The “pretty soft” can be irreparably damaged or destroyed by the extreme cold of the Martian winter.
Bonert said NASA thinks winter will escape in some form or another Inside. But if a dust storm hits Insight in the next few months before summer starts, it will all be over. Unfortunately, there is still nothing left to do, but wait and see what happens.
More on Insight: Mars lander discovers mysterious “Marscakes”
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