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Thread: Mars Insight Lander

  1. #121
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    This might not be good.

    spaceflightnow.com

    Ground teams analyzing data from a heat probe that got stuck soon after it started digging into the Martian crust under NASA’s robotic InSight lander still hope they can free the mole from an obstruction that halted its progress more than a month ago, but the mission’s chief scientist says the chances of completing the heat probe experiment — one of InSight’s two main science instruments — may not look promising.

    ....


    Bruce Banerdt, InSight’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said March 26 that ground teams are assessing the possibility of moving the surface support structure using the lander’s robotic arm. InSight is a stationary spacecraft, so the options to relocate the HP3 instrument’s surface structure are limited.

    “It’s actually designed to be able to go around a rock,” Banerdt said. “If it hits a rock at an angle of 45 degrees or so, it can change its direction and actually go around the rock. So we’re looking at possibly moving the surface structure so that it’s not being constrained at the top.”

    There is no reverse motor on the mole, eliminating the possibility of relocating the instrument without using the robotic arm, an operation scientists consider risky.

    “We’re not completely giving up yet,” Banerdt said last week during a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science. “It doesn’t look real promising, but we still have a fairly reasonable chance of being able to complete this experiment.”
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  2. #122
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    Either my browser isn’t refreshing correctly, or there hasn’t been an update to the mission logbook since March 22.

    https://www.dlr.de/blogs/en/all-blog...n-logbook.aspx



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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Either my browser isn’t refreshing correctly, or there hasn’t been an update to the mission logbook since March 22.

    https://www.dlr.de/blogs/en/all-blog...n-logbook.aspx
    This is the latest I have found.

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/trouble-...rties-package/

    Engineers on the NASA InSight Mars lander mission are still trouble-shooting the Heat and Physical Properties Package (HP3). There remains uncertainty as to why the “mole” — the nickname for the self-hammering spike that is part of HP3 — is not performing as expected.

    “The discussion about the reasons of the mole not penetrating further have settled to three hypotheses of similar credibility but differing likelihood of occurring,” reports Tilman Spohn of the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin.
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  4. #124
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    Marsquake detected by InSight!

    https://phys.org/news/2019-04-marsqu...ed-planet.html

    April 23, 2019
    'Marsquake': first tremor detected on Red Planet

    A dome-shaped probe known as SEIS landed on the surface of Mars in December after hitching a ride on NASA's InSight spacecraft. Its instruments measure surface vibrations caused by weather but are also capable of detecting movement from deep within the planet—so called "marsquakes"—or those caused by meteorite impacts. The French space agency CNES, which operates SEIS, said it had detected "a weak but distinct seismic signal" from the probe.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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  5. #125
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    How is it determined that the event was not a meteoroid strike?

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    How is it determined that the event was not a meteoroid strike?
    Hope that is made clear soon. No idea myself.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  7. #127
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    Here is the NASA.gov press release about it.


    NASA’s Mars InSight lander has measured and recorded for the first time ever a likely “marsquake.”

    The faint seismic signal, detected by the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument, was recorded on April 6, the lander’s 128th Martian day, or sol. This is the first recorded trembling that appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind. Scientists still are examining the data to determine the exact cause of the signal.
    It looks like it isn't completely definitive yet, and they were mostly trying to differentiate it from wind and lander noises. They don't discuss meteoroid strikes. If there is something about the signal that indicates depth below the surface, that might be how, but I don't know enough about the signals.
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  8. #128
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    Read another article about it, said the SEIS was not sensitive enough to give any data about the Martian interior. I don't recall if there was any distinction made about moonquakes during the Apollo era being internal or external in cause, except when the S-IVB's hit. Those appeared to be very clear impact strikes and made the Moon "ring".
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  9. #129
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    Video from the JPL about plans to remediate the HP^3 (HPCubed) heat probe mole and get it burrowing again.

    https://youtu.be/G9sJl3lacpQ

    NASA InSight scientist/engineer Troy Hudson gives us the game plan for getting the mission's heat probe, also known as the "mole," digging again on Mars.

  10. #130
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    Mars Insight Lander

    The DLR Blog has been updated on June 14 with info on the plan to get the Mole moving again.

    https://www.dlr.de/blogs/en/all-blog...n-logbook.aspx


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  11. #131
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    ... next, remove the cover...

    NASA.gov

    Last week, the spacecraft's robotic arm successfully removed the support structure of the mole, which has been unable to dig, and placed it to the side. Getting the structure out of the way gives the mission team a view of the mole — and maybe a way to help it dig.

    "We've completed the first step in our plan to save the mole," said Troy Hudson of a scientist and engineer with the InSight mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "We're not done yet. But for the moment, the entire team is elated because we're that much closer to getting the mole moving again."
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  12. #132
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    Emily Lakdawalla on the InSight mission.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...robe-lift.html

    It’s been 3 months since my last check-in with the InSight mission. In that time, they’ve detected a few more very small Marsquakes, including the largest yet, coming in at a magnitude 3.0, reported via the SEIS instrument Twitter feed on June 5. I’m looking forward to the Ninth International Conference on Mars in about 3 weeks, when there will be several presentations on scientific results from team members representing the seismometer, magnetometer, weather, and heat probe instruments.

    While we’re waiting for science results, the main item of interest on InSight has been the continuing work to solve the problem with the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3, pronounced "H-P-cubed"). Its main component is a self-hammering mole that’s supposed to jackhammer 5 meters down into the Martian soil, unreeling an instrumented tether that it’ll use to measure the rate of heat flow out of the Martian interior and also the way that the Martian surface responds to daily and seasonal temperature changes. The issue is that the self-hammering mole hasn’t managed to penetrate the surface, stopping at roughly 20 centimeters depth despite very insistent hammering. As part of the anomaly recovery effort, last weekend mission engineers lifted the mole’s housing completely off the surface and set it down elsewhere, exposing the top of the mole sticking out a hole that is, very surprisingly, more than twice as wide as the mole. More on the mole hole below.
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