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We have been asked to remain silent until the release is out and this is why the update of the Blog has been held off for a couple of weeks.

Although we have tested the Mole extensively and diligently, there is still an uncertainty. Yesterday, we received the images that confirm HP3 release and the entire team (all hands out!) The one instrument that has seriously failed to meet expectations is the self-hammering “mole” tool that was supposed to dig itself up to 16 deep.

This week, the scoop was positioned above the back cap (see image) and pushing will start soon. The eclipses were pronounced in the radiometer data showing an approximately 1°C dip in temperature through the roughly 30 seconds of duration of the eclipse.
Over Christmas, HP3 has been programmed to do a number of operations aside from hammering. Hammering operations will then commence on 10 am Local Mars Time which will be Tuesday shortly before 7 pm pacific or shortly before 2 am in Germany. So the team is happy and is rejoicing about the first eclipse on Mars ever observed with a radiometer. Today’s top deals: Early Amazon Black Friday 2020 sale, $1.40 black KN95 masks, Clorox wipes, $17 portable speaker, more, Dr. Fauci is finally fed up with Trump’s continued attacks over coronavirus, Dr. Fauci says you can stop wiping down your groceries, These are the coronavirus symptoms that are scaring scientists the most, Swordfish are killing sharks on a regular basis, apparently, Too many people are ignoring one of the easiest ways to catch COVID-19, Dr. Fauci says, The 5 best deals in today’s early Amazon Black Friday 2020 sale. The mole can apparently only dig for a little over a centimeter before the lander’s robotic arm has to be adjusted to a new position. ", Despite the inability to use the mole (part of an instrument called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package), the InSight lander has made several discoveries since landing safely on the Red Planet in November 2018 after "seven minutes of terror.".

InSight’s Heat Probe (HP3) has been through quite and odyssey on Mars. All we would need to do is help the mole to balance the recoil. The atmosphere is already getting dustier and the power generated by the solar panels is decreasing. As you can see from the image from Martian sol 380 (counted since landing), we have brought the mole back in again, to almost where we have been end of October, Martian sol 322. After all, we are continuing to fight against the missing friction on the Mole hull. It is approximately pointing 15° away from the vertical and has undergone either some rotation or precession of its rotation axis. To avoid this, electronics box designers usually run critical systems three times in parallel, so that if one is affected by a bit-flip, the computer can use the result of the two unaffected systems. The stochastic results (the distribution of rock in the regolith) of a stochastic process (impacts) is still puzzling those who worry about the mole. Filling the pit with sand (right) can provide friction to the entire hull and the load can be transferred through the sand filling much more effectively. This is an open access paper describing the HP3 instrument and our DLR web sites. The team will now have to analyze the data and come up with a model of the uppermost millimeters or so of the surface material. The picture left (Figure 5) shows the result of pushing with the tip - right (Figure 6) is the result of the final push with a flat blade, The structure of our mole was lifted up to 52 cm to place it about 20 cm back towards the InSight lander. If this view is correct, the total upward motion of the mole provides an estimate for the thickness of the duricrust of about 20cm. It is still healthy but, of course, Its life time is limited - in terms of hammering strokes it can make before it is worn down - although we are not concerned that it would breake soon. Accordingly, the next steps for HP3 will be: Command a TEM-A thermal conductivity measurement today to be executed over the weekend. Costing $828 million, the InSight lander was the space agency’s first probe to reach the Red Planet in six years, following the August 2012 landing of the Curiosity Rover.

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