There’s some happy news to report from the Red Planet, as the stubborn Mars InSight heat probe, known as “the mole,” is now completely buried. It’s an encouraging development, as the surrounding dirt could coax the device into drilling deeper through the Martian crust.
The ongoing saga of the InSight lander’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package has taken an important turn, or at least we hope. The self-hammering drill, built by the German space agency (DLR) and operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is now completely obscured by red Martian dirt—a sign that it may soon be able to dig properly, since it needs friction to move downwards. Up until this point, it’s mostly been bouncing up and down like a useless pogo stick.
The purpose of