- InSight arrived on Mars in November 2018 with a Variety of scientific instruments
- Instruments included a seismometer, temperature probe and weather station
- German scientist have been trying for the heat probe into the soil two years
- They hoped to Get it drilled 16 Ft to get a temperature reading for Mars
- Unfortunately the Dirt Has Been different to what they predicted and so it could never take hold in the red dirt enough to drill more than a Couple feet to the crust
NASA has announced the ‘Mole’ on its InSight lander dead after just two years of operations.
The 16-inch heat probe was designed to drill 16 feet into the Martian crust and take its temperature, but despite the best efforts of scientists at Germany, it it could not gain sufficient friction from the red soil.
Following one last failed attempt to hammer itself down to the ground over the weekend – a procedure involving 500 strokes – that the group called it quits.
‘We have given it everything we have got, but Mars and our heroic mole remain oblivious,’ said the German Space Agency’s Tilman Spohn
While they didn’t get heavy enough to get a temperature reading, the attempt will reap future excavation attempts on Mars, stated Spohn.
That is in part due to this fact they discovered that not all Martian soil is exactly the same.
Astronauts may one day have to dig into Mars in search of water for drinking or making fuel – or perhaps for indicators of past microscopic life.
The mole’s design was based on soil examined by previous spacecraft. That dirt sample turned out to be nothing like the clumpy dirt encountered this time.
The mole was among three key instruments on the lander, others contained a seismometer and a pair of wireless antennas.
InSight’s French seismometer is still going strong. It’s thus far recorded nearly 500 Marsquakes because the first discovery of quakes on Mars in 2019.
Most of them are tiny, smaller than anything that would be felt in the world, but a few have been up to almost magnitude four, and have been tracked back to the origin.
The lander’s weather channel is also still providing daily reports about the Martian weather, and sending them back to Earth for analysis.
While they didn’t get deep enough to find a temperature reading, the effort will reap future excavation attempts on Mars, said Spohn.
That is in part due to the fact that they found that not all Martian soil is the same.
Astronauts may one day have to dig into Mars in search of water for drinking or making fuel – or even for signs of past microscopic life.
The mole’s design was based on land examined by previous spacecraft. That soil sample was be nothing like the clumpy dirt encountered this time.
InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) came on Mars in November 2018.
The mole was among three key tools on the lander, others contained a seismometer and a pair of wireless antennas.
InSight’s French seismometer is still going strong. It’s so far recorded nearly 500 Marsquakes since the earliest discovery of quakes on Mars in 2019.
Most of them are tiny, smaller than anything which would be felt in the world, but a few have been up to almost magnitude four, and have been traced back to the origin.
The lander’s weather channel can be still providing daily reports about the Martian weather, and sending them back to Earth for analysis.
On Tuesday, the high was -8C (17F) and the low was -49C (-56F) at Mars’ Elysium Planitia, an equatorial plain.
The lander was recently granted a two-year extension for scientific work, with its operations now lasting until the end of 2022.
InSight will be combined on Mars by NASA’s newest rover, Perseverance, which will try a touchdown on February 18.
One of Perseverance’s missions is to search for signs of early life on the red planet, it’s also going to take samples of stones and render them to be collected later and eventually returned to earth by a future European Space Agency mission.
The Curiosity rover has been roaming Mars since 2012, and is still in operation, sending back pictures of this red world showing us exactly what it looks like.
WHAT ARE INSIGHT’S THREE Important INSTRUMENTS?
Three key instruments will allow the InSight lander to’take the pulse’ of the red planet:
Seismometer: The InSight lander includes a seismometer, SEIS, which listens to the heartbeat of Mars.
The seismometer records the waves travelling through the interior structure of a planet.
Studying seismic waves informs us what may be producing the waves.
On Mars, scientists suspect that the offenders may be marsquakes, or meteorites striking the surface.
It will investigate how much warmth is still flowing from Mars.
Radio antennas: Like Earth, Mars wobbles a bit as it moves around its axis.
To examine this, two radio antennas, a part of the RISE tool, track the location of the lander very precisely.
This helps scientists analyze the planet’s reflexes and tells them how the heavy inside structure affects the planet’s motion around sunlight.