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InSight power levels remain steady on Mars

InSight's status through August 21, 2022

The InSight science team today released its weekly update on the lander’s ability to generate power from its dust-covered solar panels, I have charted the new numbers, through August 21, 2022, on the graph to the right. From the update:

InSight was generating an average of 400 watt-hours of energy per Martian day, or sol. The tau, or level of dust cover in the atmosphere, was estimated at .88 (typical tau levels outside of dust season range from 0.6-0.7).

For the fourth straight week the daily power level remained steady, not dropping as predicted by engineers to a point in August that the mission would end. As it appears the seismometer can function when the panels produce 400 watt-hours per day, the lander is thus holding its own instead of shutting down.

That the amount of dust in the atmosphere increased slightly is both good and bad news. The good news: Even with slightly more dust, InSight’s power levels did not drop. The bad news: There is still plenty of dust in the air that can settle on the solar panels and further degrade their ability to generate electricity.

InSight’s future is thus a day-to-day thing, though it appears at this moment that it can likely continue to gather earthquake data for another week.

Conscious Choice cover

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.  
Conscious Choice 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.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

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