‘My energy is really low’: Nasa’s Mars rover Insight prepares to detach from the Red Planet | Mars

NASA’s InSight lander has delivered what may be its final message from Mars, where it has been on a historic mission to unveil the mysteries of the Red Planet’s interior.

In November, the space agency warned that the lander’s time could be running out as dust continues to thicken and choke InSight’s performance.

“The spacecraft’s power generation continues to decrease as windblown dust thickens on its solar panels,” Nasa wrote in a Nov. 2 update. “The end is expected to come in the next few weeks.”

A message shared on Nasa InSight’s Twitter account on Monday read: “My energy is really low so this may be the last image I can send. Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and quiet. If I can continue to speak to my mission team, I will – but I will be unsubscribing here soon. Thank you for staying with me.”

My power’s really low, so this may be the last image I can send. 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. pic.twitter.com/wkYKww15kQ

— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) December 19, 2022

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My energy is really low so this might be the last picture I can send. Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and quiet. If I can continue to speak to my mission team, I will – but I will be unsubscribing here soon. thank you for staying with me pic.twitter.com/wkYKww15kQ

— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) December 19, 2022

The robotic geologist, armed with a hammer and an earthquake monitor, first landed on the barren expanse of Elysium Planitia in November 2018.

Since then it has conducted geological excavations and made the first measurements of marsquakes using a hi-tech seismometer placed directly on the Martian surface.

The solar-powered lander released an update last month reminiscing about its time in space.

“I was lucky enough to live on two planets. Four years ago I safely arrived at the second, to the delight of my family at the first. Thanks to my team for sending me on this journey of discovery. I hope I made you proud,” it said.

Since its deployment, Insight has measured over 1,300 seismic events, and more than 50 of them had clear signals that the team could use to infer information about their location on Mars, according to the mission’s published results.

The lander data has also provided details about Mars’ inner layers, its liquid core, the surprisingly variable remnants of its mostly defunct magnetic field, the weather and subsurface earthquake activity.

Ahead of the 2018 launch, Nasa chief scientist Jim Green said the mission was “fundamental to understanding the origin of our solar system and how it got to be what it is today.”

Nasa won’t declare the mission over until InSight misses two check-ins with the spacecraft orbiting Mars and relaying its information back to Earth.

Back in 2018, the veteran Mars rover Opportunity announced the end of its 15-year mission by sharing an incomplete image from Perseverance Valley.

An intense dust storm darkened the sky around the solar-powered rover, eclipsing the sun and leaving a dark image speckled with white from camera noise. The transmission was aborted before the full image could be sent.

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