Researchers have been focusing on Mars for quite some time. A few years ago we discovered that there was liquid water on Mars, while ice water still exists there. That made the Red Planet a priority for scientists. Now a mole is up there, and his mission is to uncover the mysteries of the underground. However, just like the Curiosity rover “crashed” on Mars, NASA’ InSight also encountered some issues while digging on the Red Planet.
Unfortunately, it appears that the InSight’s “mole” faced some resistance on Mars. “On its way into the depths, the mole seems to have hit a stone, tilted about 15 degrees and pushed it aside or passed it,” InSight’s HP3 principal investigator Tilman Spohn, of the German Aerospace Center, said.
It appears that this entire task is very complicated, and this isn’t the only obstacle discovered by the mole.
“The mole then worked its way up against another stone at an advanced depth until the planned four-hour operating time of the first sequence expired,” Spohn added. “Tests on Earth showed that the rod-shaped penetrometer could push smaller stones to the side, which is very time-consuming.”
NASA’s InSight Already Encountered Some Issues While Digging On Mars
The spacecraft is supposed to map the interior of the Red Planet down to the smallest details. It will manage to do this by characterizing vibrations and other movements of the planet. The “mole” has many supersensitive seismometers. While the seismometers can work on the surface, the HP3 will have to go underground. The InSight’s “mole” should descend between 10 feet and 16.5 feet.
“The mole will pull a 5-meter-long tether equipped with temperature sensors into the Martian soil behind it,” DLR officials wrote in the same statement. “The cable is equipped with 14 temperature sensors in order to measure the temperature distribution with depth and its change with time after reaching the target depth and thus the heat flow from the interior of Mars.”