November 27, 2022

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NASA bersiap untuk mengucapkan “selamat tinggal” pada pesawat ruang angkasa Insight yang membuat sejarah di Mars

Gambar ini bergantian antara avatar pertama dan terakhir Insight, untuk tujuan perbandingan. Menggunakan kamera di lengan robotnya, wahana InSight NASA menangkap selfie ini pada 6 Desember 2018 – hanya 10 hari setelah mendarat di Mars – dan 24 April 2022. Lapisan debu tebal dapat dilihat pada probe dan panel suryanya di gambar terakhir. Kredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Lihatlah lebih dekat apa yang terjadi dalam menyelesaikan misi karena pasokan listrik ke pesawat ruang angkasa InSight terus berkurang.

dekat dengan[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Mars InSight lander. The day is fast approaching when the spacecraft will fall silent, ending its history-making mission to reveal secrets of the Red Planet’s interior. Since the spacecraft’s power generation continues to decline as windblown dust on its solar panels thickens, the engineering team has already taken steps to continue as long as possible with what power remains. Despite these efforts, it won’t be long now, as the end is expected to come in the next few weeks.

Although InSight’s tightknit 25-to-30-member operations team – a small group compared to other Mars missions – continues to squeeze the most they can out of InSight, they’ve also begun taking steps to wind down the mission.

Here’s a glimpse of what that looks like.

InSight First Selfie Mars

This is NASA InSight’s first full selfie on Mars. It displays the lander’s solar panels and deck. On top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms, and UHF antenna. The selfie was taken on December 6, 2018 (Sol 10). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Preserving Data

With InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), the most important of the final steps of the mission is storing its trove of data and making it accessible to researchers around the world. Already, the data from the lander has yielded details about Mars’ interior layers, its liquid core, the surprisingly variable remnants beneath the surface of its mostly extinct magnetic field, weather on this part of Mars, and lots of quake activity. More insights are sure to follow, as scientists continue to sift through the data.

InSight’s seismometer, provided by France’s Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes since the lander touched down in November 2018. The largest quake it detected measured a magnitude 5. It even recorded quakes from meteoroid impacts. Observing how the seismic waves from those quakes change as they travel through the planet offers an invaluable glimpse into Mars’ interior. Beyond that, these observations also provide a better understanding of how all rocky worlds form, including Earth and its Moon.

NASA InSight's Final Selfie

NASA’s InSight Mars lander took this final selfie on April 24, 2022, the 1,211th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The lander is covered with far more dust than it was in its first selfie, taken in December 2018, not long after landing. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Finally, we can see Mars as a planet with layers, with different thicknesses, compositions,” said Bruce Banerdt of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, the mission’s principal investigator. “We’re starting to really tease out the details. Now it’s not just this enigma; it’s actually a living, breathing planet.”

The seismometer readings will join the only other set of extraterrestrial seismic data, from the Apollo lunar missions, in NASA’s Planetary Data System. They will also go into an international archive run by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, which houses “all the terrestrial seismic network data locations,” said JPL’s Sue Smrekar, InSight’s deputy principal investigator. “Now, we also have one on Mars.”

Smrekar said the data is expected to continue yielding discoveries for decades.

Rocket NASA InSight Lander Launch

The rocket that launched NASA’s InSight lander to Mars in 2018 is seen at Vandenberg Air Force Base, now called Vandenberg Space Force Base. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Charles Babir

Managing Power

Earlier this summer, the lander had so little power remaining that the mission turned off all of InSight’s other science instruments in order to keep the seismometer running. They even turned off the fault protection system that would otherwise automatically shut down the seismometer if the system detects that the lander’s power generation is dangerously low.

“We were down to less than 20% of the original generating capacity,” said Banerdt. “That means we can’t afford to run the instruments around the clock.”

Recently, after a regional dust storm added to the lander’s dust-covered solar panels, the team decided to turn off the seismometer altogether in order to save power. Now that the storm is over, the seismometer is collecting data again. However, the mission expects the lander only has enough power for a few more weeks.

Of the seismometer’s array of sensors, only the most sensitive were still operating, said Liz Barrett, who leads science and instrument operations for the team at JPL, adding, “We’re pushing it to the very end.”

paket kembar

Anggota tim yang diam adalah ForeSight, model rekayasa ukuran penuh InSight di JPL Lab alat di tempat. Insinyur menggunakan ForeSight untuk mempraktikkan bagaimana InSight dapat menempatkan instrumen ilmiah di permukaan Mars menggunakan lengan robot penjelajah, Teknik tes Untuk memasukkan probe suhu probe ke dalam Tanah Mars yang lengketmengembangkan metode Pengurangan kebisingan Diambil oleh seismometer.

Forsight akan ditempatkan di kotak penyimpanan. “Kami akan mengisinya dengan penuh kasih sayang,” kata Banerdt. “Dia adalah alat yang hebat, pendamping yang hebat bagi kami di seluruh misi ini.”

Replika Insight Insinyur JPL

Di ruang uji di Jet Propulsion Laboratory, para insinyur sedang berlatih untuk menggunakan instrumen InSight menggunakan ForeSight, replika pendarat ukuran penuh yang akan dimobilisasi setelah misi selesai. Banyak insinyur memakai kacamata hitam untuk menghalangi cahaya kuning terang yang meniru sinar matahari saat muncul di Mars. Kredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPGP

Pengumuman Akhir Misi

Ketika InSight melewatkan dua sesi kontak berturut-turut dengan pesawat ruang angkasa yang mengorbit Mars, sebagian dari Jaringan Relay MarsNASA akan mengumumkan akhir misi. Namun, aturan ini hanya berlaku jika penyebab terputusnya koneksi adalah probe itu sendiri, kata administrator jaringan Roy Gladden dari JPL. Kemudian, Jaringan Luar Angkasa NASA Dia akan terus mendengarkan untuk sementara waktu, untuk berjaga-jaga.

Namun, tidak akan ada tindakan heroik untuk terhubung kembali dengan InSight. Meskipun acara penyelamatan misi, seperti angin kencang bertiup membersihkan panel, bukan tidak mungkin, itu dianggap sangat tidak mungkin.

Sementara itu, selama InSight tetap berhubungan, tim akan terus mengumpulkan data. “Kami akan terus melakukan pengukuran ilmiah selama mungkin,” kata Banerdt. “Kami berada di bawah kekuasaan Mars. Cuaca di Mars bukanlah hujan dan salju; cuaca di Mars adalah debu dan angin.”

Lebih lanjut tentang misi

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) NASA mengelola program InSight dari Direktorat Misi Sains NASA. InSight adalah bagian dari Program Penemuan NASA, yang dikelola oleh Pusat Penerbangan Luar Angkasa Marshall di Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space of Denver telah membangun pesawat ruang angkasa InSight, termasuk tahap pelayaran dan pendarat, dan mendukung operasi pesawat ruang angkasa misi.

Sejumlah mitra Eropa, termasuk Pusat Studi Antariksa Nasional Prancis (CNES) dan Pusat Dirgantara Jerman (DLR), mendukung misi InSight. National Center for Space Studies telah menyediakan instrumen Inner Structure Seismic Experiment (SEIS) kepada NASA, dengan peneliti utama dari IPGP (Institut de Physiques d’Institut d’Institut d’Institut d’Institut d’Institut du Physique di Dunia di Paris). Kontribusi signifikan untuk Sistem Informasi Lingkungan Umum berasal dari IPGP; Institut Max Planck untuk Penelitian Tata Surya (MPS) di Jerman; Institut Teknologi Federal Swiss (ETH Zurich) di Swiss;[{” attribute=””>Imperial College London and Oxford University in the United Kingdom; and JPL. DLR provided the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain’s Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) supplied the temperature and wind sensors, and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) supplied a passive laser retroreflector.

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