Martian Landing module InSight started drilling Mars. It is the first progress

Official site of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) reports that drilling rig HP3 "Mole" Mars lander NASA InSight, launched from Earth in May last year and successfully landed on the Red Planet in November, the first drilled the soil of Mars, absorbed beneath the surface at 18-50 centimeters. During the first four hours of work created by engineers drill cents paid a total of 4000 hits, which made it possible to reach a level of depth.

Martian Landing module InSight started drilling Mars. It is the first progress

As the source, during the dive drill faced with stone.

"Deeper, drilling ustanovkaHP3, apparently stumbled on a stone and bent about 15 degrees and either pushed him or has passed", - says the project manager HP3 Tilman Veneer.

"Going down a little deeper, the unit reached another stone. But at this point it ended with his 4-hour shift work. As shown by tests in the world, capable of setting push small stones in the direction that can significantly reduce the time to complete the task ", - adds the expert.

As DLR notes after the end of the cooling period, the researchers intend to start the second phase of the HP3 rig, which also lasts four hours. Scientists plan to deepen in the coming weeks HP3 into the surface of the Martian soil for three to five meters, which will measure the heat flux from the Martian interior.

The main objective of the lander InSight is to study the geological structure of Mars, for which it is equipped with a seismometer and other devices. Drilling rig module is completely autonomous. It is powered by electricity, which is located on the surface of the Red Planet module receives from sunlight. Since the drilling process creates friction, which heats himself drill, and environment inside the wells, it may interfere in the conduct of the soil thermal conductivity calculations. Therefore, after each four-hour shift borax needs time to cool for about three days Mars (Sols).

Heating within the wells is measured by a specific sensor, integrated in a drilling rig. In the outer shell of the impact mechanism built a special plaque. With the heating medium and borax heated plate itself. The readings from this plate to determine the level of thermal Martian interior flows. In addition to this, near the lander InSight has a radiometer, by means of which the machine carries out the measurement of temperature changes on the surface of the Red Planet. It can vary in the range from a few degrees above zero to -100 degrees Celsius.

Data from the temperature sensors, and the sensor for measuring the thermal conductivity are then sent to the mission control center DLR, and then transferred for analysis and study experts Planetary Research Institute DLR.

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