As part of the InSight mission mission, Mole HP3, which was built by Poles, landed on the surface of Mars. From the beginning, there were problems with him, but now it turns out that scientists from NASA have not appreciated this planet.
It is not known today that the surface of the Red Plot is covered with extremely fine dust, which in its structure brings to mind the flour. Researchers were aware of the fact that it could pose a serious threat not only to the InSight mission itself, but also to future colonization missions, but they risked it.
Unfortunately, they were painfully convinced of their mistake during the mission of Crete HP3. Scientists have chosen a place to dig into the ground next to the lander. The sampler was supposed to hammer into the sand and then into the ground in 10 phases of half a meter. It was not a good decision. The device encountered an obstacle after the first seconds of its digging. Initially, the scientists thought that the problem is rock, but now it turns out that it is about something completely different.
The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) is a probe for measuring the heat flux from the inside of the planet. According to the plan, the probe was to be introduced to a depth of up to 5 meters in the ground, and make the deepest hole in the ground in the history of exploration of the planet. The device is quite narrow and high, has a thickness of 25 millimeters, weighs about 500 grams, is made of titanium alloys, steel and tungsten, and its appearance resembles a car shock absorber. Mole was built by the Polish company Astronika and easily defeated other works constructed as part of competitions organized by NASA, by engineers from other countries.
The robotic arm covers the hole in which the hollow mole is located. Fig. NASA.
Problems with Mole began to appear in March. It must be emphasized here that the device is fully functional and the problems with it are not on the Poles’ side. After 4 months of data analysis, laboratory tests and preparations, the researchers began the process of changing the position of the device so that he could continue his work. Initially, the engineers thought that the problem might be rock, then the defect of Crete was pointed out, but now it is certain that the soil itself is a problem. You can find out about it thanks to the attached photos.
The device hollowed the hole in the soil, but the Martian dust is so loose that by filling the hole it did not provide Kret with adequate friction so that he could dig deeper. As a result, the engineers send commands to him to drive in, and he tries to move, but he can not, because he just widens the hole, not deepen it.
The Polish hollow HP3 mole is already covered in part. The next part of the task will be completed soon. Fig. NASA.
Researchers from NASA and ESA have developed a rescue plan for one of the most important missions in the history of the Red Planet’s research. The robot arm of the probe lifted and shifted Crete by about 20 centimeters so that they could have a larger field of view on the hole in the soil. Then the arm had already pressed Crete and covered the hole on the right side of it. In the following days, it is planned to cover the rest of the hole. Once the mission is completed, it will turn out whether Kret will start to dig deeper. We keep our fingers crossed for the success of the undertaking.