Station InSight saw the Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos

Automatic station InSight, working on the surface of Mars, able to commit a new Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos during operation with the installation of the HP3, which is already more than a year to carry out its scientific programme. It is expected that after one or two month impact probe finally razed to the surface of Mars, is reported in the Twitter of the mission.

Automatic research station InSight landed in the highlands area Elysium at the end of November 2018. She has been studying the internal structure of the planet and the geological processes taking place in its depths, and weather conditions on Mars. The details of the work and objectives of the station can be read in our materials “Look inside the red planet” and “the Seismograph for Mars”.

Since February, 2019 on the planet’s surface is successfully operating one of the main instruments of the station — SEIS seismograph, which has confirmedthat Mars is still seismically active. At the same time on the surface of the planet dropped the second research tool — HP3 (The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package), designed to measure heat flow in the Martian soil. It is classified as a penetrator (sometimes incorrectly called brown), who was supposed to start at five-meter depth, the plume sensors of the thermal conductivity with 40-centimeter samosobirayuschihsya shock probe.

Unfortunately, the installation work is almost immediately stopped because of the small coupling of the probe with the surrounding soil that is not given to balance the recoil in shock. First, this problem has been solve, but then the probe suddenly heavily jumped out of the ground. Specialists managed to fix the position of the probe using a robotic arm IDA and excavation resumed, but in the middle of January 2020 issue again became topical. Then, engineers have moved the point of application of force on the back cover of the probe that finally gave a positive result.

501 morning Sol (Martian day) station, during the work with the hand, recorded a 30-second Eclipse of the Sun one of the moons of Mars — Phobos. Its size is 11.5 kilometers, which allows to close only part of the solar disk. However, this is enough to radiometer stations recorded the temperature drop of the surface of Mars by one degree Celsius, and the power of solar panels fell by twenty percent.

As of the shock probe, the progress is slow because of the need to constantly move the touch point bucket of the probe cover as it is deeper into the ground. A series of strikes manages to pass the probe 1.5 cm deep. Leveled with the surface of Mars, the probe will be able not earlier than in one or two months, after which the manipulator he will no longer be able to help. Only then experts will be able to see if the penetrator to further independent work, which is complicated by the compacted soil inside done in soil wells and tilt of the probe almost 30 degrees to the vertical axis.

Earlier we talked about how “Curiosity” saw the Eclipse of the Sun, the satellites of Mars, space Observatory SDO captured the motion of the moon tide and how it looks the first ever filming of a total solar Eclipse.

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