Nasa's InSight transmits heartbreaking farewell from Mars as power dies

Once the lander is no longer operational, it will end its history-making mission to reveal Red Planet secrets

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Nasa's robot Martian named InSight has sent an emotional final message to the world as it runs out of power on the surface of the Red Planet.

The robotic lander was designed to study the deep interior of Mars.

"My power’s really low, so this may be the last image I can send," the message from the lander began.

"Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will – but I’ll be signing off here soon.

"Thanks for staying with me."

Once the lander is no longer operational, it will end its history-making mission to reveal the secrets of the Red Planet's interior.

The InSight mission set out to uncover how a rocky body forms and evolves to become a planet by investigating the interior structure and composition of Mars.

The mission also tried to determine the rate of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts.

Top InSight discoveries

  • InSight made the first-ever detection of quakes on the Red Planet. Its onboard seismometer has measured more than 1,300 seismic events, and more than 50 of them had clear enough signals for the team to derive information about their location on Mars
  • InSight gathered new information about Mars's three major layers – crust, mantle and core. Scientists found that the crust beneath InSight is somewhat thinner than expected – about 15 to 25 miles (25 to 40km) thick, comprising three internal layers
  • InSight's onboard seismometer detected a magnitude 4 marsquake in 2021 that scientists later determined to be caused by a meteoroid strike. This was one of the biggest meteoroid impacts on Mars since Nasa began exploring the cosmos
  • InSight carried the first-ever magnetometer instrument to the Martian surface, enabling it to detect magnetic signals. In its early history, Mars had electrical currents flowing inside its molten metal core as the planet cooled rapidly. That global magnetic field is gone, but it left behind ghosts: traces of this ancient field frozen in the crustal rocks
  • InSight collected the most comprehensive weather data of any mission sent to the surface of Mars. Its sensors have detected thousands of passing dust devils, but the spacecraft's cameras have not yet seen any of them
Updated: December 20, 2022, 8:17 AM