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Tue Oct 29, 2019, 03:23 PM

The 'Mole' on NASA's InSight Mars Lander Just Popped Out Of Its Hole (and That's Not Good)


By Mike Wall a day ago Science & Astronomy

Mars' weird soil may be to blame.



In this image from Oct. 26, 2019, the InSight Mars lander's heat probe, or "mole," is seen after backing about halfway out of the hole it had burrowed.(Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech)


A metal mole's up-and-down saga on Mars has taken yet another turn.

The burrowing heat probe aboard NASA's InSight Mars lander was originally supposed to dig 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) beneath the planet's red dirt, using a self-hammering tool called "the mole." Shortly after deploying onto the Martian surface in February, however, the instrument became stuck about 1 foot (0.3 m) down.

Earlier this month, InSight team members announced that they'd managed to get the mole moving again by pinning it down with the lander's robotic arm. The breakthrough suggested that the digger had previously lost friction with the dirt, perhaps as a consequence of Mars soil's weird properties, rather than having run up against a big buried rock.



This sequence of images shows the burrowing heat probe on NASA’s InSight Mars lander popping back out of the hole it had dug on the Red Planet.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

But that downward progress was short-lived. The mole has backed about halfway out of its burrow, mission team members announced yesterday (Oct. 27).

More:
https://www.space.com/mars-insight-mole-heat-probe-pops-out-of-hole.html

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Reply The 'Mole' on NASA's InSight Mars Lander Just Popped Out Of Its Hole (and That's Not Good) (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 29 OP
PSPS Oct 29 #1
2naSalit Oct 29 #2
Wounded Bear Oct 29 #3
Sancho Oct 29 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2019, 04:08 PM

1. Obviously, the martians are pushing it out. They don't like it poking through the ceiling.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 29, 2019, 04:11 PM

2. That's exactly what I think!

We sure are an invasive species.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2019, 04:47 PM

3. I would imagine that Martian soil is extraordinarily dry...

probably drier than any soil on earth.

I wonder if that is the problem.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2019, 10:07 PM

4. Martian gophers?



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