NASA's InSight lander hits snag in heat measurement

James Marshall
March 8, 2019

Insight was able to successfully deploy its probe that was created to dig 16-feet into the ground to measure the heat coming from inside the planet.

The thermal probe of NASA's InSight lander has hit snag and paused digging, according to the mission team on Tuesday.

The lander has been snapping pics and exploring Mars since November 26, 2018, and successfully set its heat probe onto earth's dusty surface on February 12.

No significant progress was seen after a second bout of hammering on Saturday, March 2nd.

NASA says that data indicates the Mole is now at a 15-degree tilt.

The team is wondering what turned out badly, after the mole proved capable at pushing small rocks aside or wending its way around them amid testing preceding InSight's launch. Scarcely any stones showed up on the surface encompassing the lander, as indicated by the post, suggesting there wouldn't be many rocks below the ground.

"The mole is healthy and performed a round of hammering on the weekend", said Tilman Spohn, instrument lead from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) which provided the instrument.

"The team has made a decision to pause the hammering for now to allow the situation to be analyzed more closely and jointly come up with strategies for overcoming the obstacle", said HP3 Principal Investigator Tilman Spohn of the German Aerospace Center, which provided NASA with the instrument.

The team will hold off from further hammering for about two weeks, he added. The sensors in the tether can determine the natural heat coming from Mars.

"In the meantime, we are planning on carrying out thermal conductivity measurements for the first time on Mars and start to conduct observations of the shadow of Phobos, which will be travelling through the radiometer's field of view on 5, 6 and 8 March 2019", he said. InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) will dig deeper into the planet than anything that's come before, as it conducts its mission of measuring heat escaping from Mars' interior to educate researchers further about its history.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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