InSight took the final selfie

The InSight mission support group published the final selfie of the device. It is made up of images taken on April 24, 2022 using a camera mounted on a robotic manipulator device.

The final selfie of the InSight Lander, taken on April 24, 2022. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The selfie gives a visual representation of the desperate situation with the power supply of the device. Its body and solar panels are covered with a thick layer of dust. Because of it, InSight now generates ten times less energy than immediately after landing on Mars at the end of November 2018.

For comparison, you can take a look at the previous InSight selfies taken in December 2018 and spring 2019. In the first image, taken just ten days after landing on Mars, we see an absolutely clean lander. On the second selfie, dust is already visible on the InSight body, but its amount is nothing compared to the current state of the probe.

The first selfie of the InSight device, taken on December 6, 2018. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The second selfie of the InSight device, taken in the spring of 2019. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The new selfie was the final one for the mission. In an attempt to save energy and maximize Insight’s service life, engineers began gradually shutting down the systems and devices of the device — including its manipulator, which was used to obtain self-portraits.

The remaining energy will be used to power the SEIS seismometer used to register marsquakes. It is expected that its work will be able to be maintained until the end of this summer. After that, the tool will also be disabled. According to NASA calculations, by December, energy production will drop so much that InSight will no longer be able to communicate with Earth. This event will put an end to its four-year mission.

According to

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