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NASA Shares Last Photo From InSight; End Of Line For The Mars Lander?
NASA’s InSight Mars lander exceeded all expectations and continued its scientific operations on the Red Planet; however, its days of glory might finally be coming to an end. The lander was declared close to dead last year after the space agency took emergency action to save it.
"This is almost the end," planetary scientist Paul Byrne tweeted along with the lander's last photo probably, which was captured on October 30.
This is probably the last photo the @NASAInSight mission will ever send home.— Paul Byrne (@ThePlanetaryGuy) November 3, 2022
It was taken on Sunday, 30 October 2022 at a local time of 5:20 pm.
Its solar panels covered in dust, Insight isn't expected to last for more than a few weeks.
This is almost the end. pic.twitter.com/YHe0UNaA4g
InSight’s Journey Is Nothing Short Of A Miracle
NASA officially announced that it put a "Do Not Resuscitate" order on the InSight lander in May this year. However, the lander managed to miraculously continue its operations until now.
"Insight is sitting in Elysium Planitia, a vast equatorial plain," said Byrne, Earth and planetary science professor at St. Louis' Washington University. "An absolutely barren, desolate place. Just look at that photo. Imagine how silent, how empty it is. How lonely."
NASA InSight’s Twitter handle wrote: "The day is coming when I’ll fall silent, ending my nearly four Earth years (over two Mars years) of studying the Red Planet. As my time winds down on Mars, my team is helping make sure scientists can get the most out of everything I’ve gathered."
The day is coming when I’ll fall silent, ending my nearly four Earth years (over two Mars years) of studying the Red Planet. As my time winds down on Mars, my team is helping make sure scientists can get the most out of everything I’ve gathered.— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) November 1, 2022
More: https://t.co/nujLgj7sUx pic.twitter.com/I0ZaRvFQpM
One Last Time
Before the InSight lander goes for its long nap, its biggest mission, as per NASA, would be to save all the data gathered about the Red Planet’s core and its seismic wave activity.
It will soon be the end of the road for InSight but it will be remembered for its contribution to NASA’s Mars exploration mission. "We’re pushing it to the very end," said NASA JPL science and operations team lead Liz Barrett.
NASA Diving Deep Into Mars’ Atmosphere
A new topography of Mars mapped by researchers from Pennsylvania State University shows compelling evidence of ancient oceans on the Red Planet. The research was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Planets. The team claims to have found traces of a shoreline dating back around 3.5 billion years.
With the presence of oceans on Mars being established, it puts forward some important questions including the existence of life forms on our neighboring planet. While that might sound too ambitious, the evidence found by researchers could be a huge leap for hunting life on the planet. If an ocean existed on the planet during its warmer days, the chances of harnessing life also grow.