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NASA InSight lander’s ‘last’ photo message tugs netizens’ hearts

by Joyce Remo

Per aspera ad astra, little one!

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars lander InSight sent its final goodbye with a photo of the planet’s surface, breaking many netizens’ hearts.

In a December 20 tweet, InSight shared a recent image of Mars using its lander-mounted Instrument Context Camera (ICC), noting that the robotic lander is about to sign off as its battery is running low.

“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,” the tweet read.

Twitter users were saddened by the lander’s sign off as dust continued to choke out InSight’s power.

InSight, or the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport mission, was designed to give Mars its “first thorough checkup” 4.5 billion years after its formation.

With this mission, NASA was able to provide detailed information and knowledge regarding the Red Planet’s interior as it studied the planet’s in-depth “inner space” — its crust, mantle, and core.

InSight was launched on March 5, 2018 and landed eight months later on November 26.

According to NASA, the lander’s scientific goals were centered on uncovering the planet development processes that rocky bodies undergo by conducting probes on Mars’ interior structure and composition. InSight was also tasked to determine the present level of the planet’s tectonic activity and meteorite impact rate.

During its exploration on Mars, InSight lander provided 6,688 raw photographs of the planet and spent 1,446 Sols (or 1,485.75 Earth days) on its mission clock.

Banner courtesy: Mars InSight Mission’s website



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