NASA Mars insight mole instrument begins to enter

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Bad start? On February 28, 2019, the heat flow and physical properties (HP3) instrument on NASA's insight Mars Lander excavated Martian soil for the first time. Source: nasa/jpl caltech/dlr

the mole robot on NASA's insight Mars Lander encountered tenacious resistance when it first stayed under the surface of Mars

in this major mission milestone, insight's heat flow and physical properties (HP3) instrument first entered the Martian underground on February 28. After 400 hammers in four hours, the depth of the instrument under the laterite obviously reached 7 inches to 19.7 inches (18 to 50 cm), but the obstacles under the laterite hindered its further progress, task team members said

Tilman SPOHN, chief researcher of HP3 at the German Aerospace Center (famous for the German abbreviation DLR), said in a statement that in the process of digging down, the mole robot seemed to hit a rock. The robot tilted it about 15 degrees, pushed it aside, or exceeded it

Spencer added: then, the mole robot encountered another stone in a deeper place, and the robot continued to deal with the stone until the end of the first 4 hours of work in the plan. Tests on earth have shown that the rod penetrometer can push smaller stones aside, but this is very time-consuming

the $850million insight lander landed on November 26 last year. Its name is an abbreviation for internal exploration using seismic investigations, geodesy and heat transport. The target of the detector is to draw the interior of the red planet in details with unprecedented external concerns, most of which are attracted by the fierce anti-corruption of the Communist Party of China. The insulation resistance between the power line and the chassis should be greater than 2m; The travel limit switch shall be sensitive

in order to draw such a map, it will mainly use a set of ultra sensitive geophones (built by a consortium led by CNEs of France to boost the development of Chongqing's plastic industry) to describe Mars earthquakes and other vibrations; The HP3 instrument provided by DLR was used to measure the underground heat flow

in the first step of Mars exploration, insight used its mechanical arm to directly emit ultraviolet light to change color; The thermal deformation temperature is 70-107 ℃ (about 85 ℃) and it is placed on the soil of Mars. The geophone works on the ground, but the HP3 instrument needs to work underground on Mars much deeper than the depth currently managed to reach. The task force hopes that the mole will eventually reach 10 to 16.5 feet (3 to 5 meters) underground

The DLR official wrote in the same statement: the mole robot will drag a 5-meter-long rope with a temperature sensor into the Martian soil behind it. The cable is equipped with 14 temperature sensors to measure the distribution of temperature with depth and the change of temperature with time after reaching the target depth, so as to measure the heat flow inside Mars

even if the mole can find a way out of the current dilemma, the excavation process will take time. The heat generated by the excavation will affect the measurement of the HP3 instrument. Therefore, after 4 hours of hammering, the instrument will stop working and cool down on Mars for two Martian days. DLR officials said that it will record the temperature of the whole day before the excavation starts again. (a Mars day lasts about 24 hours and 40 minutes.)

The surface exploration program of insight will last at least one Martian year, equivalent to 687 days on earth

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