According to a new update posted today by the InSight science team, the power being generated by the lander’s dust-covered solar panels once again did not decline last week, holding at 400 watt-hours generated per day for the fifth week in a row.
The graph to the right shows the trends since May. The dust in the atmosphere is indicated by the red line, marking what scientists call the tau level. A normal level outside of the winter dust season should be between 0.6 and 0.7 tau. Even though that dust season has been ending, that level has remained high, thus cutting off more of the sunlight that the Mars lander could use to generate the electricity needed by its seismometer.
That the power generated continues to hold steady however suggests that InSight’s seismometer might be able to continue working into September, detecting Martian earthquakes. The scientists had predicted the spacecraft would die sometime around now. Without doubt they are thrilled their prediction appears wrong.
That the lander might last longer also increases the chance that it might experience a wind event, such as a dust devil, that could blow the solar panels clear of dust and save the lander entirely. All it needs is one such event, which sadly has not occurred since InSight landed on Mars in 2018.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
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