A NASA owner inspects what could be his last message from Mars, where he was on a historic mission to reveal the secrets of the Red Planet’s interior.
In November, the space agency warned the lander that dust would eventually build up and choke the probe’s power.
“The power generation of space continues to decline as windy dust accumulates on the solar panels,” Nasa wrote in an update on November 2. “The end is expected to come in the next few weeks.”
Read the message shared on Twitter by the Nasa Insight System on Monday: “My power is really low, so this is the last image I can send. Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both fruitful and peaceful. If I can talk to my mission, I want to – but I will soon sign here. Thanks to me for staying.”
A robotic geologist, armed with a hammer and a motion monitor, first reached the barren expanse of the Elysian Plain in November 2018.
From there he undertook geological excavations, making the first measurements of martians using a hi-tech seismometer placed directly on the Martian surface.
A powerful solar descender released an update last month, reminiscing about his time in space.
“I was lucky enough to live on two planets. Four years ago I arrived safely to the second, to the first of my beloved family. I thank my team for sending me on this journey of discovery. I hope I made you proud,” he said.
Since its deployment, the probe has measured over 1,300 seismic events, and more than 50 of them had clear enough signals for the team to extract information about their location on Mars, according to the mission statement.
The lander also provided detailed information about the inner layers of Mars, its liquid core, and the amazing variety of remnants below the surface of its mostly extinct magnetic field, weathered and disturbed by activity.
Ahead of its 2018 launch, Nasa’s chief scientist Jim Green said the mission was “important for understanding the origin of our solar system and how it came to be the way it is today.”
Nasa won’t announce the mission anymore until the probe has launched two spin-ins with a Mars-orbiting spacecraft that sends its information back to Earth.
Back in 2018, the veteran Mars Opportunity rover announced the end of its 15-year mission by delivering an incomplete image from the Persistence Valley.
An intense dust storm darkened the skies around the Solar System, blotting out the Sun, and leaving a black image with white reflections from the camera noise. The transmission stopped before the full image could be sent.
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