NASA’s InSight’s Mole Faces New Challenges On Mars

The saga of InSight’s mole is far from its conclusion, as the instrument faces new challenges on Mars, a few days after the scientist managed to pull off a trick to make the lander dig again into Martian soil.

Recently, the mole just popped out of the hole it dug, and that’s bad news for NASA and the mission of InSight on the Red Planet. The lander went to Mars with a few missions to fulfill. The most important one was to dig into the Martian soil to study the planet’s interior. Another task was to “listen” for the so-called marsquakes whose presence could reveal that Mars is still geologically active.

However, InSight’s mole got stuck while digging a hole. After months of strugglings and tests, scientists came up with a solution to force InSight’s instrument to restart its mission on Mars. Now, as some news reports showed, NASA’s InSight digging device has new challenges to overcome.

NASA’s InSight’s Mole Faces New Challenges On Mars

“Preliminary assessments point to unusual soil conditions on the Red Planet. The international mission team is developing the next steps to get it buried again,” stated some NASA representatives yesterday. “The next step is determining how safe it is to move the InSight’s robotic arm away from the mole to assess the situation better. The team continues to look at the data and will formulate a plan in the next few days,” NASA added.

The engineers blame the unusual Martian soil in the region where InSight landed. It seems that the ground of the Red Planet has some weird properties that the scientists hadn’t taken into consideration when chose the landing point for the mission.

Despite the multiple challenges that the InSight’s mole faced, NASA announced that the other instruments aboard the lander are working as expected. The seismometer, for instance, recorded about 150 events, out of which we have 23 confirmed marsquakes. Hopefully, the engineers will come up again with a solution to make the mole function.