NASA Fixes InSight Mars Probe By Smacking It.

Share

NASA’s InSight Mars Probe Had A Problem, So They Hit it With A Shovel. And It Worked, Of Course.

Sometimes you just need a hammer. Fans of Jeremy Clarkson will understand. There are certain problems, which, in life, pop up from time to time. These problems can seem tricky. They boggle the mind when one tries to come up with a peaceful solution. These problems can turn into the quicksand that sucks all of the gumption from an individual. And typically, when one’s gumption is zapped, one of two things happens. One throws up one’s hands and buggers off to go read Space Porn articles… Or… One gets pissed and throws whatever they’re working on across the room. These problems happen at NASA, too, apparently. As evidenced by last week’s incident with the InSight Mars probe.

The Problem

NASA currently operates two functional landers on Mars. One, of course, is the Curiosity rover, and the other is the Insight Mars probe. While Curiosity physically moves about, however, InSight is not mobile. That doesn’t mean it’s helpless, though. InSight takes all kinds of visual photos, seismographic data, auditory data, and other information that is critical to our understanding of Mars.

One of those sensors critical to InSight’s mission is a heat probe called “mole.” The InSight team named it such because it’s meant to burrow into the Martian soil and take geothermal readings. Unfortunately, when mole tried to burrow last year, it couldn’t do so due to a lack of friction. 

Engineers scratched their heads for a few months before finally coming up with a novel solution. They decided to push it with one of InSight’s robotic arms—essentially a shovel.

Here’s the Tweet by NASA InSight that explained the procedure:

As you can see, NASA ended its tweet with the hashtag #SaveTheMole. Also, they sent the tweet out early Friday morning, before most of the rest of the world went into full outbreak containment mode. Now that all non-essential NASA personnel are working from home, one wonders whether or not the operation would have been possible this week rather than last. Thankfully we don’t have to find out. The mole is alive and well, and functioning according to mission parameters.

Read More:


Love Space Porn? Please consider supporting the site by getting some great merch from the Marketplace, or by becoming a patron and unlocking some sweet perks for yourself. We really appreciate it!

Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply