Automatic station InSight successfully filled shock probe tool HP3 with a bucket mounted on the robotic arm: it is possible to increase the adhesion of the probe with the surrounding soil. According to engineers, this should finally help the probe go deeper into the soil, reaching for a measuring sensor, it is reported in Twitter of the mission.
HP3 — one
of the main scientific instruments, the Mars station InSight dealing
the study of the internal structure of the planet. The installation task consists in definition of thermal properties in
subsurface layer of soil that was supposed to get with tape
sensors placed vertically to a depth of five meters.
To help to put the tape in the soil had 40 cm
samozaryadnyj impact probe, however, the first attempt, held in February
last year, it was not possible — power
the coupling of the probe with the ground was not enough to compensate for the recoil shock. Engineers
eliminated the problem by tapping on the surface near the probe bucket,
installed on the robotic arm of IDA. Soon, however, the probe suddenlypopped up
from the ground, and then did it again,
despite the fact that it was recorded.
Then experts began to press the tip of the bucket on the back cover of the probe that in early June of this year allowed him to finally leave
in the ground.
However, the problem with the tool is not over. In mid-June HP3 failed the test of independent work without the help of the bucket, and
not advancing further into the soil. Work was suspended prior to the development of
further plan of action, and soon to hole in the ground brought the hand station,
where the camera is installed. Obtained images showed that the probe abundantly
gravelly — contrary to what experts expected that the soil clogged in
cracks in the walls of the well or drop deep. Above the surface remains
only rear cap and body of the probe a length of several centimeters.
After analysis and discussions with the mission team was
decided to use the bucket on the arm IDA to scrape off the sand from the edges of the well, thereby further increasing the adhesion of the probe with the ground: in this case, it is hoped that it
will offset the impact.
New pictures taken in early August showed that InSight managed
the role of the Martian excavator after making the ground a small trench length
12 inches and covered the probe. Data received by the sensors, also talking about
that has improved both thermal and mechanical contact of the probe with the ground. Now
in front of the station the task is again to put a robotic arm on the probe and
press the rear cover at an angle 20 to 30 degrees relative to
the surface, which, as I hope the experts will help the tool to go deeper in