The First “Radical” Attempt — At Getting NASA / JPL Mars Insight “Mole” Drilling Again…

If the below and at right doesn’t work, the next trick will be to use the scoop’s arm to fill the hole, reburying the mole.

We shall see — but I suspect the “duri-crust” layer [at about one and one half feet of depth — a layer of concrete-like hardened sand — likely frozen solid] will ultimately give way, and the mole will eventually reach the targeted 15 feet / five meter depth. This is not the first remote workaround NASA and JPL engineered — on Mars. The much earlier Curiosity rover has been repeatedly tricked out of trouble. Here’s the latest, from NASA:

. . .”We’re going to try pressing the side of the scoop against the mole, pinning it to the wall of its hole,” said InSight Deputy Principal Investigator Sue Smrekar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “This might increase friction enough to keep it moving forward when mole hammering resumes.”

Whether the extra pressure on the mole will compensate for the unique soil remains an unknown.

Designed to burrow as much as 16 feet (5 meters) underground to record the amount of heat escaping from the planet’s interior, the mole needs friction from surrounding soil in order to dig: Without it, recoil from the self-hammering action causes it to simply bounce in place, which is what the mission team suspects is happening now. . . .

We will keep a weather eye, on our lil’ buddie, here. Onward — I truly needed. . . a break from the absolute sh!t show that is the Trump presidency, now in “Chernobyl core meltdown” mode.


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