Can we save the robots on Mars from death by dust?

NASA’s Mars InSight lander slowly died from dust last week. For months and months, the robot, built to study tectonic activity on the Red Planet, has been running on less and less power as its 25-square-foot (4.2-square-meter) solar-powered array gradually disappeared under a thick layer of dust. . On Wednesday (December 21), NASA announced that it hadn’t heard from the lander for days, officially declaring the mission dead.

Knowledgewhich landed in the flat, seemingly uninteresting basin of Elysium PlanitiaSouth of Marsequator in November 2018, exceeded the planned duration of the mission by two years. Still, many questioned whether anything could have been done to save the otherwise perfectly healthy robot, which had been delivering groundbreaking science on the inner life of mars.

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