In 2018 The InSight lander landed on Mars with a clear purpose: to pierce the Martian surface to better study its conditions. Two years later and after many attempts and sacrifices, the mission had to be given up. InSight has only drilled 10% of the depth it was supposed to drill.
According NASA announced, the mission has been officially lost after the lander failed to excavate the surface of Mars. It was the main objective of the mission, to drill the surface to more accurately measure the temperature of the planet. Without the possibility of doing so, there is no other option but to terminate the mission.
A team of German scientists have been in charge of managing the mission. For the past two years they have been trying to get a probe of the internal heat of Mars and its crust. The device that was to pierce the surface it was supposed to reach five meters deep, instead it has only drilled a maximum of 40 centimeters.
During these last days the engineers have tried to do the excavation for the last time. After more than 500 blows to the surface over several days and without obtaining results, the mission has been considered unsuccessful.
Essential measurements for future missions
Not everything has been a waste of time. The lander was equipped with extra tools like a seismometer to measure earthquakes (martemots?) On Mars. During these two years it has registered almost 500 in its entirety confirming that a geologically active planet. It is also equipped with a small weather station that records and sends the planet’s temperatures daily.
As a curiosity, the InSight lander has also been useful for hearing sounds of Mars for the first time. Equipped with a microphone, has recorded the sound of the wind on the red planet.
They hope that this effort will at least assist in future missions and excavations on Mars. Beyond measuring the temperature of the planet, excavating the surface of Mars has other interests and uses. It is essential, for example, to find possible liquid water and other elements that can be of help for a colonization of the planet.
Now, if it is already difficult to excavate five meters here on Earth, even more so at hundreds of millions of kilometers, with extreme and remote environmental conditions. At the moment InSight has finished its work and it will be other missions that continue with it. Perseverance is next that is expected to arrive and land successfully on the neighboring planet.
Via | NASA
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