NASA’s Mole can finally dig a hole in Mars — but still barely

An instrument of NASA’s Mars rover Insight has repeatedly failed to complete its design mission, but it may now be working properly,media reported. The mole, the “self-hammering nail” on Insight, is making progress. It is understood that the instrument was designed to hammer itself into the Martian underground, with a depth of 16 feet, but problems arose after the first attempt.

NASA's Mole can finally dig a hole in Mars -- but still barely

It seemed that the dust on Mars was so loose that the Mole could not reach deep, so NASA began experimenting with new technology.

Initially, the Insight team used the lander’s robotic arm to push the soil around the area of the cave, hoping it would give the probe much-needed traction. Although the initial show of hope, but ultimately failed.

So NASA decided to use the latest technology to push the Mole’s end into the surface of Mars. This method is very dangerous because the tail of the probe drill is connected to the cable of the lander.

But in recent attempts this approach has proved effective…

In a way. It is reported that the Mole can only dig more than one centimeter at a time depth, and then the robotic arm must be adjusted to a position to continue. This makes the whole process time-consuming and tedious, but at least it works. Unfortunately, this still does not guarantee that it will dig deep enough.