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InSight Mars mission nears end
Posted: Sun, May 22, 2022, 9:17 AM ET (1317 GMT)
InSight Mars lander dusty array (NASA/JPL-Caltech) NASA confirmed Tuesday that the end is in sight for the InSight Mars lander. Project officials said that dust accumulating on the spacecraft's solar panels, along with increased dust in the atmosphere from seasonal changes, mean power levels are dropping to critical levels. Spacecraft controllers will start turning off science instruments and put the lander's robotic arm into a final "retirement pose" in the next few weeks, and operate the main instrument, a seismometer, intermittently through the summer. Power levels will likely cause the spacecraft to cease operations entirely by the end of the year, which NASA had anticipated for some time.
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