NASA’s Mars Lander Cleaned Sand Off Its Solar Panels Using More Sand
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/323 ... -more-sand
By Ryan Whitwam on June 3, 2021 at 4:23 pm
NASA’s InSight lander has been on the red planet since 2018, and it relies on solar panels for power, unlike the nuclear-powered Perseverance rover. That means there’s the potential for dust build-up on the solar panels, which is becoming an issue as the planet descends into another frigid winter. Luckily, engineers at JPL devised an ingenious way to get the sand off the solar panels. All it took was more sand.
InSight got its mission extension in early 2021, shortly before the team decided to give up on the burrowing HP3 heat probe that stubbornly refused to burrow. However, the SEIS instrument has exceeded expectations as the first seismometer on another planet. The team has been working to wrap up InSight’s science operations for the season. The robot was designed to go quiet during the long Martian winter to save power for its heater and communication gear. Maybe there’s a little wiggle room, though?