NASA’s Mars lander goes dark after four years

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This Dec. 6, 2018, image made available by NASA shows the InSight lander. (NASA via AP)

NASA’s Mars lander goes dark after four years

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NASA’s InSight lander has fallen silent after being on Mars for more than four years.

Conditions on the red planet have given the lander difficulty in the last few months, and its going silent may signal the end of the lander’s time on Mars, according to a report.

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Its power levels have dwindled due to repeated coatings on its solar panels.

InSight did not respond to any communication from controllers on Earth on Sunday, the report noted.

“It’s assumed InSight may have reached the end of its operations,” NASA said in a statement. “It’s unknown what prompted the change in its energy.”

The “last time the mission contacted the spacecraft was on Dec. 15, 2022,” the statement read. “The mission will continue to try and contact InSight.”

InSight first arrived on Mars in 2018, and it was the first vehicle to record a marsquake, allowing scientists to gain insights into Mars’s interior.

It also captured the sound of a Martian dust devil, a whirling column of dust, the report noted.

One major problem for the lander was its German digging device designed to measure the internal temperature of the red planet.

The tool failed to dig deeper than a couple feet, the report noted.

“My power’s really low, so this may be the last image I can send,” InSight’s team posted to Twitter on the lander’s behalf after its last message.

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“Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will — but I’ll be signing off here soon. Thanks for staying with me.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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