After four years of detecting and analyzing seismic motion on Mars, NASA's Mars InSight lander will cease operation as its solar power source was impaired by weather conditions.
The mission, which had a budget of $830 million, will end because the solar panels that allow the lander to generate power have obstructed by dust. During the time NASA InSight was operational, it was dedicated to studying the structure, composition and geologic history of Mars.
After more than four years, 1,300 marsquakes, and countless scientific discoveries, our @NASAInSight lander has reached the end of its mission.
InSight may be retiring, but its legacy—and its findings from the deep interior of Mars—will live on: https://t.co/8884Slrbxr pic.twitter.com/UKozd4P28g
— NASA (@NASA) December 21, 2022
The mission's official Twitter account, which has provided updates during the four years of work, posted:
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. Thank you for staying with me.
The lander in question was able to detect a total of 1,319 marsquakes, including a seismic phenomenon caused by the impact of a meteorite on the planet's surface. This type of data gave scientists invaluable information about the age of Mars' surfae, crust, mantle and core.