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Mars InSight in a power crisis

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Marc_G

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The Mars InSight's solar panels are covered in dust and will soon enter emergency hibernation in hopes it can survive the winter:

Yahoo News: NASA's InSight Mars lander is going into emergency hibernation. If it can't save its batteries, it could die..
 

KenECoyote

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From what I recall reading, they can wait for some storm to come by and clean off the dust...has happened before.
 

davel

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InSite is in a relatively wind-free area. While it may happen, a cleaning event is not likely. Need to make it until summer.....
 

CalebJ

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Has a robot arm, but no feather duster.
It does seem like there should be a solution for this predictable issue. Do the newest rovers have any ability to clear the panels?
 

Huxter

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Why not have a device to blow Martian atmosphere on the panels? Suck in - blow out...
 

davel

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Why not have a device to blow Martian atmosphere on the panels? Suck in - blow out...
The Martian atmosphere is very thin, and there really isn't much to 'suck in' - so there wouldn't be much to 'blow out'. Probably would require a gas supply (with associated tank) built into the lander. Adds weight, and you know what problems that brings. Designing the arm to be able to reach the panels and to have a 'brush' attachment might be feasible, but that increases the possibility of damage due to an 'accident'.
 

CalebJ

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Rovers (Perseverance and Curiosity) have plutonium-based thermal electric generators.
Sorry, I totally missed your response yesterday. Good point - I was wrong to specify rovers. But the intent of what I was getting at is still there - surely there's a solution for this on solar powered devices sent to Mars?
 
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