NASA’s InSight launch vehicle is in trouble. There is evidence that InSight, which is conducting significant research on the surface of Mars, has collected so much dust that it makes its job significantly more difficult.
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The U.S. space agency says the rover’s solar collectors can no longer consume enough energy for further work. Let us remind you that InSight has been on the Red Planet since 2018.
Currently, scientists are gradually turning off landing gear instruments. The goal is to go into sleep mode to save energy. The agency is optimistic about rescuing the rover, but the weather on Mars is unpredictable and another storm of dust may be enough to “kill” the device forever.
Otherwise, NASA typically relies on strong gusts of wind to clean the solar cells of its rovers. But there was no wind on Elysium Planitia, the InSight landing site, so a dangerous amount of dust was accumulating.