Mars Lander's Possible Final Image: 'Don't Worry About Me'

After 4 years, InSight is believed to have lost power—meaning we may not hear from it again
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2022 11:50 AM CST
This Could Be the Last We Hear From Mars Lander
This image released by NASA on Monday shows NASA’s InSight lander on Mars.   (NASA via AP)

NASA's InSight might finally be dead. The Mars lander whose solar panels have been caked in dust for months failed to respond to communications on Sunday, NASA reported. The announcement came alongside what could be a final selfie from InSight, showing the lander in what looked like a very dusty landscape indeed, per USA Today. "My power's really low, so this may be the last image I can send," reads a Monday tweet from the lander's official Twitter account. "Don't worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will—but I'll be signing off here soon. Thanks for staying with me." NASA made two attempts to contact the lander without success, which it previously said would mark the end of the mission, per Axios.

"It's assumed InSight may have reached its end of operations," the space agency said Monday, adding it last communicated with the lander on Dec. 15. "It's unknown what prompted the change in its energy." Officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California will continue trying to make contact in case it's able to resume operations. If not, "we broke new ground, and our science team can be proud of all that we've learned along the way," Philippe Lognonne, the principal investigator of InSight's seismometer, said in a statement. InSight was the first spacecraft to document a marsquake—it has recorded 1,319 since arriving on the red planet in November 2018—and the first robotic explorer to allow an in-depth study of Mars' interior, NASA said. (Read more InSight stories.)

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