The mole drill penetrated the surface of Mars (3 photos)

Mars soil exploration is one of the mostcritical stages of preparation for future manned flights to the red planet. Scientists study the structure of the Martian soil, find out the presence of components capable of ensuring the vital activity of the colonizers, including water. During the operation of the Krot drilling rig installed at the InSight Martian station, difficulties arose with the penetration of the drill into the soil.

After collision with a layer of dense cakedsand at a depth of 50 cm in February 2019, work was stopped and for half a year the engineers tried to develop a scheme that provides additional pressure on the drill for passing dense rocks of Martian soil. After several unsuccessful attempts, drilling was continued, and an IDA robotic arm bucket was used as an additional load on the drill. The drill began to gradually move deep into Mars.

Despite the fact that success is still extremely modest andthe drill passed 32 mm of soil, it was hoped that the mistake of engineers who did not foresee encounters with dense rocks and did not ensure the creation of a scheme in which additional efforts were required on the drill would be corrected using improvised means.

The main task in managing further drillingis the untouched loop going from the station to the Krot drill, through which energy and control signals are transmitted. The ultimate mission of the station’s mission is to penetrate to a depth of 5 meters to obtain samples of deep Martian rocks.