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NASA’s InSight Caught a Lonely Martian Sunrise

Written by Nuel

The Mars lander InSight photographed an austere Martian sunrise earlier this week. The probe has called Mars home since 2018 and has taken thousands of images during its time there, while also collecting some fascinating scientific data on the planet’s geology.

 

 

“I’ll never tire of sunrise on Mars,” InSight’s official Twitter account posted. “Each morning, that distant dot climbs higher in the sky, giving me energy for another round of listening to the rumbles beneath my feet.”

Why is the Sun so important to InSight?

Sunlight is crucial to InSight’s day-to-day (or should I say sol-to-sol) activities. The rover features two 7-foot-wide solar panels that generate approximately 3,000 watt-hours per Martian day. InSight is so reliant on its solar panels to function that it landed near the equator to maximize the amount of light it can receive.

 

All that daylight is controlling planetary exploration. Understanding means “Inside Exploration utilizing Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport,” and it includes a set-up of instruments intended to concentrate on the geologic history and inside of the planet.

 

To begin with, InSight put a seismometer on the Martian surface to distinguish any “marsquakes,” the information from which ought to permit researchers to foster a 3D model of Mars’ inside. Its radio correspondence framework is likewise sending exact information on Mars’ turn and wobble back to Earth. Results from InSight’s main goal could reveal more insight into how the rough inside planets of the planetary group are shaped.

 

How is the InSight mission going?

Well…

InSight has been active on Mars for three years and 140 days, and it has hit a few snags. The heat probe, or Mole, was to be a major part of the mission, but NASA had to ax the project after two years of failed digging attempts.

 

Recently, excessive dust had settled across the solar panels, putting the whole mission in jeopardy. On the bright side, it seems that power levels have stabilized. Here’s hoping things will continue successfully through at least December 2022, the currently planned retirement for the probe.

 

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Nuel

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