NASA InSight’s mole probe sadly fails to dig into the Martian surface

NASA’s InSight lander was launched back in 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base on an Atlas V rocket and was the first interplanetary mission from California. The lander made it safely to the surface of Mars on November 26, carrying new experiments to learn more about Mars subsurface science.

The two big experiments that took the ride to the Red Planet were a seismometer and “self-hammering nail” to study the thermal properties below the surface of Mars nicknamed “the mole”. The mole ran into problems almost right away after it was lifted off the top of the lander and placed on the ground in late 2019.

Continue Reading

NASA’s InSight lander captures over 400 Mars quakes, measures ancient rock magnetism

NASA’s InSight Mars lander touched down one year ago after a six month journey from Earth to the Red Planet. Today six papers were published with a year of science learned through year one of the lander mission.

A new understanding of Mars is beginning to emerge, thanks to the first year of NASA’s InSight lander mission. Findings described in a set of six papers published today reveal a planet alive with quakes, dust devils and strange magnetic pulses.

Five of the papers were published in Nature. An additional paper in Nature Geoscience details the InSight spacecraft’s landing site, a shallow crater nicknamed “Homestead hollow” in a region called Elysium Planitia.

InSight is equipped to detect Mars quakes, wind speed, air pressure, and more.

Continue Reading