November 9, 2022
It's time to say goodbye to another Martian friend. Many missions to the Red Planet have fallen silent in the past.
After several successful years of some data collection and a brief free-fall some in the form of a fireball.
We'll soon be adding another Martian explorer to that growing list—InSight may have just sent its final image home.
The image itself is similar to hundreds of others the probe has been sending back to Earth for the past four years.
In the center of the image is the craft's seismometer, which is focusing on collecting data about the Marquess.
In this image, however, it is clearly covered in the fine red dust that blankets everything on the Red Planet.
That dust is also covering InSight's power source. Its solar panels are collectively more shielded, capable of providing less and less power to the lander.
Unfortunately, InSight had either good or bad luck being located in an area of normal calm for the dust devils of Mars.
While those devices themselves can be difficult to handle, dust devils also do a remarkably good job at cleaning up dust-covered solar panels.
Another factor in the increasing dust accumulation was a design decision the InSight team made back at the start of the project.