Sorry to flog the dead horse
InSight lasted significantly beyond its design life.
This. No spacecraft is designed to last indefinitely. They are designed to last for a specified time with healthy margins. If one can do that without some capability that costs something in dollars or complexity or risk, then it's an impossible sell to add that. Solar panel self-cleaning, even if it was as easy as laypeople always seem to think, just doesn't make that cut.
Quote from: ccdengr on 01/01/2023 12:04 amThis. No spacecraft is designed to last indefinitely. They are designed to last for a specified time with healthy margins. If one can do that without some capability that costs something in dollars or complexity or risk, then it's an impossible sell to add that. Solar panel self-cleaning, even if it was as easy as laypeople always seem to think, just doesn't make that cut.Yup, and not only is it an impossible sell, the designers don't want to even try making that sell. They're trying to keep the cost down below the cost cap for the program. That means they are designing to reach the mission lifetime (with safety margin) and no more. No mission proposer wants to get rejected because they added that one little thing to the mission that pushed them over the cost cap and resulted in some other proposer winning. They do all hope for much longer lifetimes, however.(snip)
During project development the detectors were upgraded to color, and it was recognized that the arm could be used to carry out a wide variety of activities that would enable both geology and physical properties investigations.
JPL: InSight End of Mission: Our Time on Mars
I don't remember why, but at least part of it is that for some spacecraft components, there's no way to select a specific mission lifetime once you get past a certain point. I'm going to make up some numbers here, but it's something like this: you can design it to last 2 years with 95% confidence. And then you probably have 90% confidence that it will make it to 3 years, and 80% confidence that it will reach 4 years, and 70% confidence that it will reach 6 years. But for many things, there is no way to design it to 95% confidence for 2 years and then have it drop off radically so that it's only 50% at 3 years. If it works to the design life, it's probably going to keep working for a long time beyond that. InSight lasted four years. It was designed for two. That's a pretty successful mission.
Although its mission ended in December, data from NASA’s InSight lander is allowing scientists to continue making new discoveries about Mars.In fact, one team of scientists recently discovered that Mars’ rotational speed is accelerating ⬇️
The strongest-ever quake to violently shake Mars arose not because of a crashing asteroidbut rather the tectonic forces within the planet itself, scientists reported on Tuesday (Oct. 17). The new findings show the Red Planet is more seismically active than previously thought.On May 4, 2022, NASA's now-retired InSight lander recorded a magnitude 4.7 quake, five times stronger than the previous record holder of magnitude 4.2 that InSight measured in 2021. Unlike most marsquakes that cease within an hour, the reverberations from the May 2022 quake continued for a record six hours, marking the strongest and longest quake ever recorded on another planet.
A team of scientists has found the source of the largest Marsquake observed by NASA’s InSight lander. The team concluded the quake must have been caused by a release of stress within the planet’s crust.Martijn Luinstra’s debut article for NSF ⬇️
The core of Mars can look bigger than it actually is because of a previously unknown layer of molten rock surrounding it, scientists suggest with a pair of new studies.
Since the 2021 studies appeared, InSight detected more Martian seismic waves, produced by a meteorite impact on Mars far away from the lander. "The impact produced a lot of energy, generating seismic waves that traversed the core of Mars," Khan said. "Up until then, we didn't have any of those to examine. They allowed us to gain a completely new picture of the interior of Mars, especially deep structures that we couldn't illuminate before."Two new studies now estimate the center of Mars is about 2,050 to 2,080 miles (3,300 to 3,350 km) in diameter. All in all, the Martian core "is 30 percent smaller in volume than previous estimates," Henri Samuel, a planetary dynamicist at Paris Cité University in France, told Space.com.