This is the end for the InSight probe

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It’s the end for the InSight probe

The probe has been on the surface of the planet Mars since November 2018.

The SEIS seismometer, accompanying NASA's InSight lander, was developed in France.

After passing the four years probing the bowels of the planet Mars, the InSight probe has not responded since Sunday to messages sent from Earth.

The lander's energy level had been declining for a few months, due to dust building up on its solar panels, so controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory knew the end was near.

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It is assumed that InSight has reached the end of its activities, NASA said, before specifying that the last exchanges with the module took place on Thursday. It is unknown what is responsible for the changes in his energy.

The team will continue to try to communicate with InSight, just in case.

InSight touched down on Mars in November 2018 and was the first spacecraft to be measured an earthquake on the red planet. Its French seismometer detected more than 1,300 tremors, including several that were caused by meteor strikes.

An artist's drawing shows the Insight probe: its sensors, cameras and instruments.

The most recent tremor measured by InSight, earlier this year, shook the ground for at least six hours, according to the US space agency.

The researchers revealed last week that InSight was also the first to measure a dust devil: in the right place at the right time in 2021, the module had recorded not only images of the vortex, but also the sound, since his microphone was accidentally on.

Other devices worked less well. The German instrument that was supposed to measure the temperature of Mars' interior could never sink more than 50 centimeters away from the 5-meter target. NASA stopped using it about two years ago.

InSight had recently returned a final selfie, which NASA shared on Twitter on Monday.

I'm really starting to run out of energy, so this might be the last image I'm going to take. x27;sends, NASA wrote on behalf of the module. Don't worry about me. My time here has been productive. I will try to continue communicating with the team, but I think my end is near. Thank you for coming with me.

NASA still has two rovers in circulation on Mars: Curiosity, which has been cruising there since 2012, and Perseverance, which arrived at Mars. beginning of last year.

The space agency plans to return samples collected by Perseverance to Earth in about ten years, in the future. hope to find signs of ancient life there.

Perseverance is accompanied by the Ingenuity helicopter which, having recently made its 37th flight, has now flown over Mars for over an hour.

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