Shock probe automatic station InSight was able to burrow into the ground on the third attempt. In this he was helped by the bucket mounted on the robotic arm IDA: he pressed on the back cover of the probe, so he dug into the ground. Now, the experts need to check and can work independently of the probe, it is reported in Twitter of the mission.
HP3 was the second planted on the surface of Mars as a scientific tool station InSight, which explores the internal structure of the planet with the end of 2018. The installation task involves measuring the heat flow in the Martian soil by using the cable with the sensors. The plume need to be placed vertically in the soil from the surface to five meters depth 40-centimeter samosobirayuschihsya shock probe.
However, since the first attempts to place sensors in the ground failed, as the probe ceased to move inland because of the small traction. After the station pulled the soil near the probe bucket mounted on the robotic arm, the IDA, the problem was resolved, but soon the probe suddenly popped up from the ground. The position of the probe managed to fix, but he soon again began to emerge from the soil when working.
Staff then moved the point of application of force on the back cover of the probe: it is allowed to probe a little deeper into the soil. The process was very time consuming as the engineers had to constantly move the touch point bucket of the probe cover as it is deeper into the ground and make sure that the bucket does not affect the plume emerging from the rear cover. A series of shocks, the probe can pass only a few inches deep. However, on 3 June 2020, the team announced that the probe successfully went into the ground at full length.
Now engineers need to verify the independent operation of the probe. If the probe will not be able to continue the excavations on their own, the experts will try to fill the hole with soil or to use the tip of a ladle to push the probe.
The details of the work and the tasks InSight can be read in our materials “Look inside the red planet” and “the Seismograph for Mars”.