Key instrument on NASA’s InSight lander is stuck. A Martian rock may be to blame

Credit: CC0 Public Domain NASA’s Mars InSight mission has hit a snag: Its heat probe appears to have struck an obstacle just below the surface of the red planet.

“We are a bit worried,” Spohn wrote in the logbook, “but tend to be optimistic.”

Spohn wrote Tuesday in the logbook.

Its mission is to measure heat escaping from Mars’ interior, which will give scientists clues about the planet’s composition and history.

The mole punched out of its housing and into the Martian soil, making quick progress during the first five minutes.

The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3, was successfully deployed by the lander’s mechanical arm on Feb. 12.

Mission scientists estimate the probe has reached a depth of about a foot, meaning one end of the 16-inch mole is still sticking out of the ground.

This article was summarized automatically with AI / Article-Σ ™/ BuildR BOT™.

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