‘My powers are really low’: NASA to lose contact with Mars InSight spacecraft after four years | UK News

This may be the last image sent by NASA’s Mars InSight spacecraft.

After a four-year mission on the Red Planet, the robotic lander — which famously snapped off The first-ever ‘selfie’ on Mars – Powering off.

Thick winddust covered InSight’s solar panels, nasa Contact with the probe is expected to be lost soon.

NASA posted the news on the spacecraft’s Twitter page, saying: “I’m really low on power, so this is probably the last picture I can send.

“Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and peaceful.

“If I could keep talking to my mission team, I would – but I’ll be out of here soon. Thank you for staying with me.”

Ten years ago, NASA announced the £630m InSight project as a follow-up to its successful Curiosity rover.

The goal of the InSight lander is to discover how Mars was formed, with the goal of giving scientists a better understanding of how rocky objects like Earth formed.

Before then, the spacecraft must successfully complete the 300 million-mile journey to Mars in order to withstand the test. “Seven Minutes of Horror” down to the surface.

Only 40 percent of Red Planet missions pass safely through the thin atmosphere.

NASA's robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be Martian quakes. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

A combination of heat shields, parachutes and reverse rockets helped InSight drop from 13,000 mph to 5 mph in just six minutes, allowing it to land on a flat plain north of where the Curiosity rover is located superior.

Once it’s deployed, the spacecraft will slam a temperature probe five meters into the surface to measure the heat flowing from the planet’s core.

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Five months after landing, InSight’s seismic monitors recorded a faint rumbling. NASA scientists concluded it came from inside the Earth and dubbed it a “Martian quake”.

One of InSight’s major achievements has been determining that the Red Planet is indeed seismically active, with more than 1,300 Martian quakes recorded.

NASA's robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be Martian quakes. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s robotic lander InSight. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

NASA says the recording opens up a new field of research called “Martian seismology,” which could help learn more about how rocky planets form.

It also measures seismic waves from meteorite impacts, revealing the thickness of the planet’s outer crust, the size and density of its inner core, and the structure of the mantle that lies in between.

But there is also time to have fun. The spacecraft took the first-ever “selfie” on Mars, using a camera attached to its robotic arm to beam the pictures all the way back to Earth.

InSight takes a 'selfie' on the surface of Mars using the camera on its robotic arm
InSight uses the camera on its robotic arm to take a “selfie” on the surface of Mars.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), near Los Angeles, will continue to listen for signals from the lander, just in case.

But experts say hearing from InSight again is unlikely.

The three-legged stationary probe last communicated with Earth on Dec. 15.

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