MARS RESISTS! NASA probe backs out of hole while burrowing into red planet’s surface
NASA’s InSight lander is trying to insert a temperature-monitoring probe deep under Mars’ soil – but the excavation project has apparently encountered resistance from the red planet.
"Mars continues to surprise us," the NASA InSight team wrote in a tweet published on Sunday. "While digging this weekend the mole backed about halfway out of the ground."
Mars continues to surprise us. While digging this weekend the mole backed about halfway out of the ground. Preliminary assessment points to unexpected soil properties as the main reason. Team looking at next steps. #SaveTheMole#Teamworkpic.twitter.com/UURvU8VTwZ— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) October 27, 2019
NASA said it believes "unexpected soil properties" are the cause of the frustrating setback.
A time-lapse of the lander’s progress shows the heat probe inexplicably popping out of the hole. The device – nicknamed “mole” – is supposed to reach a depth of 16 feet (5 meters) as part of research into how rocky planets such as Mars are formed. The digging began in February, several months after the lander touched down on the planet in November 2018.Also on rt.com Mysterious magnetic pulses & evidence of groundwater discovered on Mars
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