Thursday 14 May 2020


After more than a year of inactivity due to the unexpected impacted character of the soil where it landed and deployed, NASA and DLR (previously) can report that one of the instruments included on the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) payload on the lander InSight is slowly, carefully making progress, burrowing below the surface.
Nicknamed “the mole,” the probe has the technical designation of a mobile penetrometer, a sort of self-hammering nail—will dig to a depth of up to five metres and generate (albeit miniscule, truly a mountain out of a mole hill) seismic activity that can be used to determine the composition of the core and study heat flows from the planet’s centre through the substrate and to the surface.