NASA’s Insight is already breaking records


If you’re not following the NASA Insight Rover on Twitter, then I don’t know what to tell you. That thing is a delight.

It tweets in the first person like this:

Which makes me feel like Insight isn’t a collection of nuts and bolts, but rather a harmless dog robot, roaming the desolate planes of Mars, doing science, furthering human knowledge and having the time of its life. Basically AIBO in space.

But here’s the interesting news so far: First off, the photos keep on coming, and (for me at least) they remain jaw dropping. A stark reminder that a human-made machine is currently on Mars, doing stuff. That sensation never gets old.

Secondly, the Insight rover has already broken a world record. It’s already beaten its rover buddies in its ability to soak up energy from the sun. During its first full day on Mars, Insight generated more energy than any other vehicle on the surface of Mars, hitting 4,588 Watt-hours during. For comparison, the Curiosity Rover hit 2,806 Watt-hours and the Opportunity rover hit 922.

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“It is great to get our first ‘off-world record’ on our very first full day on Mars,” said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman. “But even better than the achievement of generating more electricity than any mission before us is what it represents for performing our upcoming engineering tasks. The 4,588 watt-hours we produced during sol 1 means we currently have more than enough juice to perform these tasks and move forward with our science mission.”

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