The Mars InSight rover, the first robotic probe created especially to investigate the deep interiors of a far-off world, has been officially retired by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) after four years on the surface of the Red Planet.
When two consecutive attempts to reestablish radio contact with the probe failed, indicating that Insight’s solar-powered batteries were dead, mission control authorities at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located close to Los Angeles, decided the mission had ended.
After four years on the surface of the Red Planet, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has formally deactivated the Mars InSight rover, the first robotic probe designed specifically to explore the deep interiors of a distant world.
Mission control officials at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, near to Los Angeles, declared the mission was over when two attempts to restore radio contact with the probe failed, indicating that Insight’s solar-powered batteries were dead.
On Mars, Insight landed in late November 2018.
While Insight’s three legs last made touch with Earth on December 15, NASA stated that JPL engineers will keep listening in the hopes of receiving a signal from the probe once more.
With instruments to detect the rumble of earthquakes on Mars, which had not before been measured anywhere other than Earth, InSight landed there in late November 2018 and then extended its mission from two years to four.
InSight has contributed to a fresh understanding of the interior structure of Mars thanks to its placement on a large, flat plain just north of the planet’s equator.
According to the experts, the data showed how thick the planet’s outer crust is, the size and density of its inner core and the structure of the mantle that lies in between.
Evidence that the Red Planet has active earthquakes
The Red Planet’s seismic activity was confirmed by Insight, which recorded more than 1,300 earthquakes and measured seismic waves from meteorites striking it.
According to Thomas Zurbuken, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, “the seismic data from this Discovery Program mission alone provides great knowledge not only about Mars, but also about other rocky worlds, including Earth.”
NASA’s science rover Perseverance, which arrived on Mars after InSight but before it, is still assembling a collection of Martian mineral samples for examination back on Earth.