NASA's InSight Landing Platform settled on Mars in the Elysian Highlands. Now we are preparing for the deployment of devices. If all goes well, then the work of one of the tools should be completed by March 2019.
This is a thermal probe InSight, which is called “the mole”. Its purpose is to study heat generation and flows inside the Red Planet. To do this, the device must drill about 5 meters in the Martian regolith. This procedure is scheduled to begin in January. Of course, we are talking about drilling on an alien planet in space, which means there is a possibility that something will go wrong. Therefore, researchers are trying to predict all possible failures.
In the photo of the InSight probe on Mars you can see a heat device - a black vertical cylinder to the left
But the heat probe will have to wait, because you must first activate the hypersensitive seismometer and protective screen. It will take about a month, and the start is scheduled for next week. If all goes well, the thermal sensor will start next, starting deployment in January. The drilling process will take two months. The fact is that the probe constantly stops to measure the heat tide and to fix the movement of flows at depth. The problem may be the meter rock, which blocks the drilling mechanism. If there is a lock, then scientists will not be upset, as they plan to find out the capabilities of the device.
If the depth does not exceed 1 m, you will have to develop a new scenario of action. But on occasion, at 3 meters (mid-February), the team will be satisfied and will be able to complete a full 5 meters of drilling until March 10. The researchers are pleased with the choice of the landing site for the InSight site, which turned out to be flat and without stones.