New Life: NASA's InSight Mars Lander Gets a Few Extra Weeks of Science Operations

New Life: NASA's InSight Mars Lander Gets a Few Extra Weeks of Science Operations

The InSight mission’s team has chosen to operate its seismometer longer than previously planned, although the lander will run out of power sooner as a result. As the power available to NASA’s InSight Mars lander diminishes by the day, the spacecraft’s team has revised the mission’s timeline in order to maximize the science they can conduct. The lander was projected to automatically shut down the seismometer – InSight’s last operational science instrument – by the end of June in order to conserve energy, surviving on what power its dust-laden solar panels can generate until around December. Instead, the team now plans to program the lander so that the seismometer can operate longer, perhaps until the end of August or into early September. Doing so will discharge the lander’s batteries sooner …
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