NASA robot posted one of the saddest tweets I’ve ever seen

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Image: NASA

InSight—or, less elegantly, Inner Exploration using seismic, geodesy, and heat transfer—is a robot that NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (via European Space Agency) sent to Mars back in 2018.

His job was pretty simple. Or as simple as “a very complex robot built on Earth, then launched from a rocket into deep space, and then landed on another planet‘ maybe, anyway. InSight has placed a seismometer on Mars and has been sitting idle for the past four years reading and interpreting data from it, killing its time providing “accurate 3D models of the planet’s interior” and measuring “internal heat transfer with a thermal probe called HP3 to study the early geological evolution of Mars.

In addition to its main role, InSight is also useful in that it has a camera attached to it, which allows you to take very good photographs of the surface of Mars. His the coolest However, the achievement, at least for those who are not involved in serious space science, is the fact that the robot was able – using the vibrations detected in its solar panels – to record the sound of the wind on Mars, which was the first time that someone either ever heard the wind from Other planet.

Sounds of Mars: NASA InSight senses the Martian wind

So yes, good robot! But like any robot sent into space, InSight is battery powered, and while solar panels and judicious use of its systems have helped prolong its life, the time is fast approaching when it will run out of power forever and be forced to cut power. .

This should be a routine matter. This is a machine, it will stop working, we will all continue to live our lives. But someone at NASA had the bright/terrible idea to anthropomorphize the last days of InSight, and so instead of reporting to the press that “the machine stopped working, it was doing neat things”, we should read this:

Excuse me. I just… Martian dust got in my eyes.

I hope one day we can go to Mars ourselves. And when we get there, I hope the first thing we do is find InSight and hug him.

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