InSight on February 5th resumed science operations, reactivating its seismometer to record Martian quakes.
As I suspected in my previous InSight update, the lander’s life is still coming to an end.
The mission, though, has been grappling with a gradual decline in the spacecraft’s power because of dust accumulating on its solar arrays. Unlike the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, whose arrays were regularly cleaned by atmospheric activity, dust has continued to accumulate on InSight’s arrays. At a meeting of MEPAG in June 2021, Banerdt projected that power levels would drop below that needed to keep the spacecraft alive in the spring of 2022.
That date has been pushed out slightly, but he said the long-term outlook for the lander still does not look promising. “Our current projections indicate that the energy will drop below that required to operate the payload in the May/June time frame and probably below survivability some time near the end of the year,” he said.
They might still squeeze a month or two more from the lander, but unless they are very lucky and a dust devil blows across it, the end is coming.
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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.
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