The official website of the German Aviation Center andAstronautics (DLR) reports that the HP3 “Mole” drilling rig of the NASA InSight Mars landing module launched from Earth last May and successfully landing on the Red Planet in November, first drilled the ground of Mars, diving 18-50 centimeters below the surface. During the first four hours of operation, the centrifugal engineers, created by the centre, struck a total of 4,000 punches, which made it possible to reach this level of depth.
As the source notes, during the dive, the bur collided with a stone.
“While going deep, the HP3 drilling rig apparently stumbled upon a stone, leaned about 15 degrees and either moved it or passed it,” comments HP3 project manager Tilman Veneer.
"Going a little deeper, the device has reachedsingle stone But by this time his 4-hour job shift was over. As tests on Earth have shown, the installation is able to move small stones aside, which significantly reduces the time to complete the task, ”the expert adds.
As noted by the DLR, after the end of the periodcooling researchers intend to begin the second phase of the work of the rig HP3, which will also last four hours. Scientists plan in the coming weeks to deepen HP3 into the surface of Martian soil by three to five meters, which will measure the flow of heat from the depths of Mars.
The main task of the landing module InSightis to study the geological structure of Mars, for which it is equipped with a seismometer and other instruments. The drilling rig of the module is completely autonomous. It works on the basis of electricity, which, located on the surface of the Red Planet module, gets due to sunlight.
Since friction is created during the drilling process,which heats up both the drill itself and the environment inside the well, this may interfere with the calculations of the thermal conductivity of the soil. Therefore, after each four-hour change of borax, time is required for cooling for about three Martian days (solos).
Heating inside the hole is measured by a specialsensor integrated into the rig. A special metal plate is built into the outer shell of the percussion mechanism. With the heating medium and borax, the plate itself is heated. Reading readings from this plate allows you to determine the level of heat flow of the interior of Mars. In addition to this, the InSight landing module itself has a radiometer with which the device measures temperature changes on the surface of the Red Planet. It can vary from a few degrees above zero to -100 degrees Celsius.
Data from temperature sensors as well as sensorto measure thermal conductivity, they are then sent to the mission control center in the DLR, and then transferred for analysis and study by the experts of the DLR Institute for Planetary Research.
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