On Mars, InSight’s Hammer/Drill-Bit Will Undergo Two Diagnostic Test Drillings, Tomorrow…

The progress here is intentionally cautious, slow and deliberate, so as not to damage the drilling mechanism, sheathed in a sharply pointed metal container. [My backgrounder from April 2019 is here.] If we bust it — there is no repair crew to send out.

But progress, this is — to be sure. One solution may involve using the arm to “bear down” on the outward facing legs, and thus increase friction — to get the penetration fully underway. But we are still a few weeks from seeing that plan executed.

In any event, here is the latest, from our friends on the German contractor team:

. . . .Dividing the [diagnostic] hammering. . . allows a check during what space engineers call a “ground-in-the-loop” to see that nothing unexpected has happened. Unfortunately, there have been delays, first because of a temperature issue and an second an issue with the arm, both related to cautious safety regulations.

But we should be able to do the first round of what we call diagnostic hammering. . . tomorrow. It will be interesting to see whether we see movements of the tether. . . .

Onward, whilst smiling at the notion of more new life — in the palace. It is indeed I think, the Infinite’s opinion that this world should. . . go ever. . . onward.


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