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NASA teaches InSight probe to solve a technical problem with a straightforward “karate” stroke

NASA's InSight probe has revealed to the world what has happened on Mars since it landed there in 2018. In October 2019, the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (H3), responsible for excavating the surface of the Red Planet, suddenly became stuck , leaving scientists concerned. However, NASA may have found a creative solution, at the very least, to the problem: asking the probe's robotic arm to deliver a clean karat stroke to the instrument.

To reach the conclusion that the use of force would be a solution, NASA scientists had to carefully plan each of the steps that the probe's robotic arm would have to take. A false blow could jeopardize the entire structure of the H3, and may even cut the lines of communication between the instrument and the team of specialists, advances the Popular Science website.

So, after several months of testing on Earth, NASA decided to execute the plan on Mars. The results, although slow, are progress. If the H3, also known as the mole, manages to return to, the next step will be to bury it completely in the hard, and sometimes unpredictable, Martian soil.

Remember that the H3 was developed to excavate to a depth of five meters in order to take the pulse, temperature and reflexes of Mars. Right at the beginning of its excavation mission, in February 2019, the instrument had also been trapped, leading the team that coordinates InSight to change its strategy.

Recently, InSight has been helping scientists understand the phenomenon of tidal waves. A study published in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience revealed that the probe has detected about 174 earthquakes since it landed in the Elysium Planitia region, which was considered by researchers to be the most mountainous part of Mars. InSight's Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure was also able to identify more than 10,000 dust storms that were able to cover the entire planet.