US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A device 40 centimeters long entered the surface of the Red Planet for its entire length.
Drill HP3 of the InSight spacecraft, performing a research mission on Mars, from the third attempt was able to dig into the soil of the Red Planet. A message about this appeared on the official mission twitter.
The task of HP3 is to install a special loop with sensors under the surface of Mars, which will measure heat fluxes. The length of the drill is about 40 centimeters, and the loop must be installed vertically to a depth of five meters.
The first attempt to start drilling turned out to be unsuccessful: due to low adhesion to the ground, the device did not want to move inside. After the InSight robotic arm with a bucket mounted on it took the surface, the problem seemed to be resolved, but soon HP3 unexpectedly jumped out of the ground.
It was possible to solve this problem by pressing the bucket on the back cover of the device. This was very risky, as blows on the drill could damage the loop with the sensors. For every series of touches of the lid, during which NASA engineers had to constantly change the point of application of effort, HP3 moved down only a few centimeters.
In the end, everything went well – and the drill was driven into the ground along its entire length, without damaging anything. Now engineers are testing the possibility of independent operation of the device. If for some reason the HP3 cannot dig the soil on its own, InSight will again help it with a bucket.
The InSight was launched from Earth on May 5, 2018. The landing on Mars was successfully completed on November 26 of that year. The main objective of the mission is to study the internal structure and composition of the Red Planet.
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