NASA’s InSight probe has gone quiet:

Saying goodbye to spacecraft such as InSight is always difficult. Humans send these robotic probes out into the frigid depths of the Solar System to increase our scientific understanding. Over that time, they shine brightly for a few years. And then, they’re gone.

It’s strangely emotional reading about a spacecraft going dark. From Spirit, to Opportunity, to Rosetta and Philae, seeing them succumb to the elements is always a bit of a sombre moment.

Seeing the effort that goes into getting these probes out there, and the struggle to keep in contact with them, feels almost like a collective activity. Certainly I feel that, even thought I have absolutely no hand in any of these projects (I don’t even help fund the project, since I don’t live in the US and pay US taxes). And when they do go quiet, among with the sense of loss is a sense of accomplishment: seeing something operate in such a hostile environment for as long as it did.