NASA has recently launched the InSight lander which managed to land on Mars successfully. The lander was sent with the aim to learn more about the features of the Red Planet, but it seems that an unfortunate event will hamper the progress.
One of the tools which were fitted on the lander is represented by a special hammer which should be able to dig several meters into the soil and measure the temperature along with other valuable data which would allow researchers to understand the inner works of the planet.
The first attempt to use the instrument has failed, and the researchers seem to be puzzled by the issue. After reaching a depth of approximately 30 centimeters, the progress stopped when the device encountered what appears to be a harder layer of rock.
NASA’s InSight lander’s drilling tool might be faulty
The researchers aren’t sure if the rock or the tool causes the problem. Until an answer can be found the team plans to capture some images with the help of the cameras mounted on the device and send them back to Earth. If the problem is tied to the tool, it is likely that it will be visible in the images.
The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport lander, in short, InSight, was manufactured by Lockheed Martin for NASA. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory controls the lander, and European Space Agencies offered many of the instruments which can be found aboard.
The lander was launched in May 2018 and managed to reach Mars after more than three months, landing without problems on November 26th, 2018. The original schedule aimed to launch the lander in 2016, but several technical issues led to unforeseen delay and an increased development cost.
NASA’s InSight carries several sensors which provide valuable information about the planet. The data collected by the lander and other missions will be used to establish strategies for possible colonization of Mars, an event which could take place at some point in the future.