InSight is scheduled to "die" due to the Dust on the solar arrays.

From what I understand, once the power goes out, there won't be a way to keep the computers and batteries warm at night, so solder points will crack and the batteries will freeze, essentially killing them.

Is this correct? What else on InSight is sensitive to cold nights?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Below -30ºC, InSight's batteries charge and discharge much more slowly, but I haven't found tests of what happens when they're much colder (below -50º, e.g., such tests are very expensive), how cold they'd have to get to never again charge/discharge enough to at least wake up the radio link, even if a dust devil many months later cleaned the solar panels. Differential thermal expansion may crack composite materials, such as semiconductor chips; dielectric in capacitors will break down, disabling the power supplies of instruments. $\endgroup$ May 24 at 15:41


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