Farewell to InSight: NASA’s Mars Mission Comes to an End

NASA has officially ended its Mars mission, InSight. The module was contacted twice but no signal was received. The last message from InSight that reached Earth was on December 15th. After two failed attempts earlier this year, NASA made the difficult decision to end the mission. However, the space agency will keep a channel open to listen for any possible signal “just in case”. NASA considers it “unlikely” that it will hear anything from InSight again.

InSight also sent a selfie, the very last image it transmitted. The Mars module landed on the Red Planet in 2018. Its energy level gradually declined, partly due to the large amount of dust that covered the solar panels. NASA had also predicted this would happen.

InSight was productive NASA can rightfully say that Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (shortened to InSight) was productive. The lander was able to collect data on the rock formations of Mars at greater depths. Using a highly sensitive seismometer, InSight detected 1,319 “Marsquakes”, at least one of which was caused by a meteorite impact. NASA concluded that the core of Mars is about half the size of Earth’s. In addition, since 2018, InSight has also sent daily weather reports and allowed us to experience the sounds of Mars and hear the wind.

“InSight has more than lived up to its name,” said Laurie Leshin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). “As a scientist who has spent my entire career studying Mars, it was exciting to see what the lander achieved. That has been made possible by a global team of people. They have made this mission a success. Yes, it’s a sad farewell, but the legacy of InSight will live on to inform and inspire us.”