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InSight Surface Operations, 26 Nov 2018-
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post Jan 15 2021, 03:01 AM
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Always disappointing when a new technique or technology doesn't really pan out, but it's a certainty that a great deal was learned regardless. This is in fact largely how we learn over time.

Kudos and great appreciation to the team for their valiant, tireless efforts. Thank you. smile.gif


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PaulH51
post Jan 18 2021, 01:17 AM
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The InSight PDS was updated earlier this month. I went through the mission managers reports (MMR) from that update and extracted the reported energy production capability ('Whr/sol') and the atmospheric tau values and added the new data to a table with a selection of selected earlier values.
We can see the falling energy production caused by accumulated dust on the solar arrays and the increasing atmospheric tau.
The MMR's contain an interesting insight into the activities of the the team as they juggled with problems, the energy demand vs energy production etc. It would have been nice to see more extracts released to the public rather than having to wait for the PDS, but it is what it is.
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PaulH51
post Feb 4 2021, 12:06 PM
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The HP3 instrument logbook has been updated today by Tilman Spohn. (February 4, 2021)

LINK

It contains some interesting information about upcoming papers and is well worth the read.

Here's a couple of extracts...

QUOTE
Fully buried, it can serve as a thermal probe that, in addition to measuring thermal conductivity, allows measurement of temperature in the soil and thus the thermal interaction with the atmosphere and solar radiation. This interaction includes gas exchange between the ground and the atmosphere, which is an important element of the physics of the atmosphere. In this capacity, the probe complements the measurements of our radiometer and the temperature and pressure measurements of the Temperature and Winds for InSight (TWINS) sensor package used by the atmospheric scientists on the InSight team.


QUOTE
I was not privileged to conclude the report with a big success story, but it would also not be appropriate to speak of our joint efforts as a failure. It was clear from the outset that HP3 was the part of the InSight mission with by far the greatest risk. Getting a robotic instrument to burrow into the Martian soil and aiming for a target depth of a few metres was something no one had dared to do before. DLR and NASA/JPL can take credit for having attempted this, and I personally consider it the greatest space adventure of my time at DLR.


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Phil Stooke
post Feb 5 2021, 12:10 AM
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In other and maybe better news:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...29/2020JE006382

This paper describes a recent impact only 40 km from InSight in the spring of 2019, seen by HiRISE. It's not clear if it was detected by InSight but it was very small.

Phil


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nprev
post Feb 5 2021, 08:14 AM
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Posts about impactors/penetrators moved here.


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PaulH51
post Feb 13 2021, 04:07 AM
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New Release (February 12, 2021)
InSight Is Meeting the Challenge of Winter on Dusty Mars.
It talks about the steps it will take to conserve power etc.
It also talks about this 'long shot' later this week
Link to full news release
QUOTE
Later this week, InSight will be commanded to extend its robotic arm over the panels so a camera can take close-up images of the dust coating. Then the team will pulse the motors that unfurled each panel after landing to try to can disturb the dust and see if the wind blows it away. The team considers this to be a long shot but worth the effort.
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PaulH51
post Feb 14 2021, 09:12 PM
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Animated GIF: Pulsing the solar array motors that unfurled each panel after landing in a bold attempt to try and disturb the dust and see if the wind blows it away. Sol 789 IDC camera

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PaulM
post Feb 17 2021, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE (PaulH51 @ Feb 14 2021, 10:12 PM) *
Animated GIF: Pulsing the solar array motors that unfurled each panel after landing in a bold attempt to try and disturb the dust and see if the wind blows it away. Sol 789 IDC camera

Attached Image

I wonder in retrospect whether whether the Opportunity Meridiani Planum landing site might have been a better destination for Insight. There would have been guaranteed cleaning winds at Meridiani Planum and deployment of the heat probe would most likely have worked. It would be the obvious destination for an Insight 2 mission.
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Explorer1
post Feb 17 2021, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE
It would be the obvious destination for an Insight 2 mission.

Would something like HP3 (even redesigned) be able to go through the bedrock that lies beneath the sand at Meridiani Planum, however? It was soft enough to Opportunity's RAT, but the mole is quite a different piece of hardware....
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mcaplinger
post Feb 17 2021, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (PaulM @ Feb 17 2021, 11:50 AM) *
I wonder in retrospect whether whether the Opportunity Meridiani Planum landing site might have been a better destination for Insight.

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/timeline/prel...site-selection/ describes the landing site selection process, which was almost entirely focused on landing site safety, elevation, power, and the need for ~5m of regolith rather than potential hard rock surfaces. I see no evidence that the possibility of cleaning events was considered, if we even have enough data to do that reliably. Elysium was settled on fairly quickly ("Several workshops took place in 2013, 2014 and 2015, to evaluate 22 candidate landing ellipses and then four finalists. All 22 of those sites are in Elysium, which is one of only three areas on Mars that meet two of InSight's needs.")

See also https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/bitstream/100...C321_Author.pdf especially figure 2.


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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Steve G
post Feb 19 2021, 02:47 PM
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Hopefully we will learn soon if InSight's Seismometer picked up any of Perseverance's landing hardware striking the surface.
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xflare
post Feb 19 2021, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Steve G @ Feb 19 2021, 02:47 PM) *
Hopefully we will learn soon if InSight's Seismometer picked up any of Perseverance's landing hardware striking the surface.


https://twitter.com/BenFernando2/status/1362743836095766530
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Don1
post Feb 23 2021, 10:34 AM
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Insight will present at the upcoming LPSC. Some findings which caught my eye:
1/ Both the seismic and radio science show a large liquid metal core probably made of iron and sulfur.
2/ Crustal thickness at landing location has been constrained and the crustal density has come out on the low side, which could mean significant porosity. It seems to me that you could hide an ocean's worth of water in the crust if their numbers are accurate.
3/ There is definitely a seasonal component to earthquake activity, which seems to be linked to solar illumination.
4/No impact signals have been detected.

Mars has a core / It’s liquid, metal, and large / Seismic waves did tell us.

Crust results

Seasonality

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JRehling
post Feb 23 2021, 08:53 PM
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Thanks for putting those together, Don. It's nice how we've gotten hard information on the interiors Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars within a few years.

These results also segue well into the MIM mission, which will considerably address the crustal porosity / crustal ice issue and a pretty distinct pathway from the one that led from "follow the water" into Mars sample return.

I'm curious how the seasonal seismic activity might correlate with the methane release cycle. It seems like we might have some crunchiness that begins with phase change and expansion or contraction of portions of the crust.

Besides the lost science from the heat probe measurements, I still mourn the failure of Phoenix to get a sample of subsurface ice into analysis. There might be something to be learned about a (slow) H2O cycle from measuring the isotopes in that ice. There's room for a followup mission that could address both of these, and both involve digging. MIM might identify the right place to do that.
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Quetzalcoatl
post Feb 24 2021, 11:01 AM
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Hi' smile.gif

A tweet that leaves us hungry

Jonathan O’Callaghan @Astro_Jonny 20H

Statement from NASA InSight team on whether they detected seismic waves from Perseverance landing on Mars:

"InSight acquired high-resolution data from its seismometer, pressure sensor, and wind sensor during the time interval bracketing Perseverance's entry, descent and..."
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