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PintsizeWarrior t1_irjuz1a wrote

Yeah sorry, I didn’t mean that one could just use wipers on these exact panels as is. I meant that a new system for the panels that could include those solutions with the right material changes would be needed, and these projects can’t take on that effort and still meet their cost limits.


ClearlyCylindrical t1_irjv54x wrote

Solar panels are delicate, changing the surface to make them more durable to wiping would significantly reduce their efficiency.


noncongruent t1_irlfm42 wrote

On the other hand, being able to wipe a few times would dramatically extend the mission lifetime. If InSight had been launched with a brush attachment instead of HP^3 then it would likely have another decade of service ahead of it running the other experiments, especially the seismometer. Eventually other parts will fail, especially the onboard batteries since there's not really any such thing as battery chemistries that have indefinite lifetimes, but then again this is more of a hindsight observation.