NASA is equipping for a rescue mission that they anticipate it will save a crucial tool on its Mars InSight lander, which got stuck a few centimeters below the surface of the planet. The InSight Lander indicated as a very important instrument, a ‘mole’ probe that is created to excavate into the Red Planet’s surface and analyze heat emissions, has encountered a tangle in March, after less than a year on the planet’s surface.
For a few months, the spacecraft, which was designed to have 16 feet downward, have been trapped about 30 centimeters underneath Mars’s surface after less than a month into its analyzing operation. However, NASA has a newly designed plan that could free the probe.
NASA released a statement this month in which it says that the team will try to use the lander’s robotic arm to liberate the lander featuring the Heat Flow and Physics Proprieties Package (HP3). Initially, scientists thought that the probe might have gotten trapped on a big rock, but now the chances of that being the case are quite low. The space agency instead says that the lander has come across an issue with the soil itself.
NASA Prepares A “Rescue Mission” To Unstuck InSight Mars Lander’s “Mole” Instrument
NASA has not been able to get an edge on the problem because the case housing the lander is at the moment blocking a camera geared to the probe’s view. To help get a sight of the issue, NASA has suggested lifting the support structure just a bit in, moving the case in such position so it can capture a clear image.
This could, however, slit the mole out of the soil with no chances of getting it back, which is why the American space agency will perform the technique in three steps. Then, NASA will create a rescue plan which could implicate utilizing the probe’s robotic arm to throw dirt back into the lander’s vicinity.
The agency has encountered lots of issues with its Mars missions until now. For instance, in 2009, the Spirit rover was stuck in a sandpit and incapable of reaching a viewpoint sufficiently high to charge its systems with solar panels. In the same manner, the Mars rover Opportunity was caught up in a massive sandstorm last year and blocked sunlight for a while, which made it lose communications with the Earth station.
Dee Mongo is a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto and has written for Maclean’s, Motherboard, the National Post, and the Huffington Post. In her spare time, she plays AC/DC on the ukulele and does psychic readings for B-grade celebrities. Dee is our tech/finance correspondent.