NASA announced the completion of the work of the German scientists’ instrument for measuring the temperature under the surface of Mars, installed on the InSight probe.
The instrument, dubbed the Mole, or mole, has been trying to drill through the Martian surface since early 2019 in order to measure the temperature below the planet’s soil surface.
As conceived by the creators, it was supposed to penetrate to a depth of at least 3 m. This was to be achieved with the help of technology, when the device drills and simultaneously buries itself in order to overcome the resistance of the planet’s soil due to the additional weight.
However, due to the encountered stronger than expected resistance from the Martian surface, the device could not cope with its task. “Mole” was able to drill Mars only 2-3 centimeters, scientists tried to “help” him by putting a bucket on it, which is also equipped with the InSight probe, but this did not help.
After the instrument made 500 additional hits on Saturday, January 9, the research team decided to stop trying.
InSight landed on Mars in November 2018. The device is designed to study the geological structure of Mars, for which it is equipped with a seismometer and other instruments. It was later joined by NASA’s newest Mars rover, Perseverance.