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NASA making new attempt to get InSight probe into Martian surface
Posted: Sat, Feb 29, 2020, 7:41 AM ET (1241 GMT)
NASA is planning a new approach to get an instrument on its InSight lander into the Martian surface. The agency said Feb. 21 it will use the scoop on the end of the lander's robotic arm to push down on a heat flow probe, or "mole," to help it get into the surface. The mole is designed to hammer its way as deep as five meters into the surface, but ran into problems nearly a year ago that caused it to stop only 30 centimeters below the surface. On two prior occasions the mole, pressed against the side of the hole it created by the robotic arm, made progress into the surface, only to partially back out. NASA said it chose this new approach because there are "few alternatives left" to get the mole into the surface.
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