APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

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APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:05 am

Image InSight's Final Selfie

Explanation: The Mars InSight lander returned its first image from the Red Planet's flat, equatorial Elysium Planitia after a successful touchdown on November 26, 2018. The history making mission to explore the martian Interior using Seismic investigations, geodesy, and heat transport has been operating for over 1,400 martian days or sols. In that time the InSight mission has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes and recorded data from Mars-shaking meteoroid impacts, observing how the seismic waves travel to provide a glimpse inside Mars. Analyzing the archive of data collected is expected to yield discoveries for decades. But InSight's final operational sol is likely not far off. The reason is evident in this selfie recorded earlier this year showing its deck and large, 2-meter-wide solar panels covered with dust. Kicked up by martian winds the dust continues to accumulate and drastically reduce the power that can be generated by InSight's solar panels.

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workgazer0101

Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by workgazer0101 » Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:28 am

Could we not use the mars helicopter to fly over and clear the panels of dust ?

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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by De58te » Fri Nov 04, 2022 2:50 pm

workgazer0101 wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:28 am Could we not use the mars helicopter to fly over and clear the panels of dust ?
I doubt it. The Mars helicopter is associated with the Perseverance rover which is several hundreds of miles away from Insight. As of today the helicopter has logged some 5 miles of flight distance! Ironically the Curiosity rover is much closer to Insight's location but it doesn't have a helicopter. And Curiosity looks at least 100 miles away from Insight too.

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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 04, 2022 2:59 pm

workgazer0101 wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:28 am Could we not use the mars helicopter to fly over and clear the panels of dust ?
It is important to keep in mind that all of these exploration missions have planned lifetimes, and this one has already gone twice as long as it was intended to. We have been very lucky (and benefited from great engineering) that so many programs have gone on much longer than their design lives. But we should never see this kind of end as representing any sort of a failure.
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isoparix

Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by isoparix » Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:20 pm

Would brushes to sweep the stuff away be so much extra load? Good to get twice the design life, but what if the sand had come and terminated the mission after a month?

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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:25 pm

isoparix wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:20 pm Would brushes to sweep the stuff away be so much extra load? Good to get twice the design life, but what if the sand had come and terminated the mission after a month?
The same sort of weather event that could drop stuff rapidly is also likely to clear it. While not impossible, it is unlikely. And I'm sure they've looked at a variety of options for clearing dust, and all have greater costs then benefits when considered in light of the mission design.
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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:29 pm

PIA25287_insight1024.jpg
So long Insight; thanks for the Mars information you have given us! 8-)
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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Case » Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:38 pm

Still, I hope we get to see some innovations in future missions that try methods of removing dust from solar panels. Even if such a method works only once, then it could double the lifetime.
“Planned lifetime” is a way to limit engineering efforts/experiments and lander weight. Dust on solar panels is not unsolvable, it’s just that so far the powers that be have decided against adding such solutions. But even experiments with doing such things in a variety of conceivable ways, on —especially— Mars seems worthwhile for science and future Earth equipment presence there.

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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:45 pm

Case wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:38 pm Still, I hope we get to see some innovations in future missions that try methods of removing dust from solar panels. Even if such a method works only once, then it could double the lifetime.
“Planned lifetime” is a way to limit engineering efforts/experiments and lander weight. Dust on solar panels is not unsolvable, it’s just that so far the powers that be have decided against adding such solutions. But even experiments with doing such things in a variety of conceivable ways, on —especially— Mars seems worthwhile for science and future Earth equipment presence there.
Any system for removing dust from the panels means something else has to be sacrificed.
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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Fred the Cat » Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:12 pm

Does
asteroid
detection data that includes the orbits of other planets for impacts? :roll:
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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Fred the Cat » Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:55 pm

Methods have been thought of to clean solar panels but perhaps a really strong mars quake could do the trick. :?:

What a coincidence. :wink:
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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by johnnydeep » Fri Nov 04, 2022 9:00 pm

De58te wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 2:50 pm
workgazer0101 wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:28 am Could we not use the mars helicopter to fly over and clear the panels of dust ?
I doubt it. The Mars helicopter is associated with the Perseverance rover which is several hundreds of miles away from Insight. As of today the helicopter has logged some 5 miles of flight distance! Ironically the Curiosity rover is much closer to Insight's location but it doesn't have a helicopter. And Curiosity looks at least 100 miles away from Insight too.
What's the irony?
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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by zendae » Fri Nov 04, 2022 9:56 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 2:59 pm
workgazer0101 wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:28 am Could we not use the mars helicopter to fly over and clear the panels of dust ?
It is important to keep in mind that all of these exploration missions have planned lifetimes, and this one has already gone twice as long as it was intended to. We have been very lucky (and benefited from great engineering) that so many programs have gone on much longer than their design lives. But we should never see this kind of end as representing any sort of a failure.
Can the dust protect it from the elements?
Theoretically, a future manned mission could perhaps resurrect it if it can still provide usefulness. It would also be very cool to stand there and see the thing.

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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Locutus76 » Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:17 pm

isoparix wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:20 pm Would brushes to sweep the stuff away be so much extra load? Good to get twice the design life, but what if the sand had come and terminated the mission after a month?
Never understood that myself. Adding a rudimentary brush system might extend the designed lifespan, maybe even double it. But I’m not a space engineer, for good reason :D

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Re: APOD: InSight's Final Selfie (2022 Nov 04)

Post by Avalon » Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:10 am

The first though that came to mind was shaking off the accumulation as our canine friends shake off water, only on a smaller, less intense scale, like mere vibration? It is difficult to consider the demise of such a faithful friend as InSight.