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InSight Surface Operations, 26 Nov 2018-
PaulH51
post Jul 19 2019, 01:26 AM
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QUOTE (MahFL @ Jul 19 2019, 09:01 AM) *
Grapple stowed already :

We can get some close-up images of that odd looking pit now 🤔
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PaulH51
post Jul 21 2019, 01:04 PM
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According to this release by CNES, the operation to recover the mole will be targeted for completion before solar conjunction. The release is in French and the English option takes you to a different page. So I used Google translate on the French release, I have garnered (very roughly) the following regarding future operations:-

CNES detailed their participation of the future operations for recovery of the mole. This includes:-

Returning to programming every 3 days, from weekly programming for the duration of the recovery attempt.

Reducing bandwidth of SEIS to facilitate transmission of diagnostic images from the cameras.

Reducing the power consumption of certain subsystems because it is becoming colder on Mars and the available energy decreases with the dust accumulating on the solar panels.

Re-configuring SEIS into 'listening mode' to monitor the mole during drilling.

Plan:-

The scoop located at the end of the robotic arm will be pushed on the ground close to the mole, to collapse the pit and increase the friction to allow penetration to resume.

Because of the increasingly cold temperatures on Mars and the increasingly limited energy makes it more difficult to use the robotic arm (as it has to remain heated) Therefore the operational teams must perform these steps before the solar conjunction that will see the Sun between Earth and Mars preventing any communication with the InSight lander.
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PaulH51
post Jul 21 2019, 10:46 PM
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Crops from 4 Sol 230 IDC frames were resized (zoomed / sharpened) these show the pit illuminated by the sun close to local noon. The arm was moved between each frame so imaging experts should be able to create 3D models of the pit and estimate depth etc. More sol 230 images were coming down as I assembled this composite.

Attached Image
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ddeerrff
post Jul 22 2019, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE (PaulH51 @ Jul 21 2019, 04:46 PM) *
Crops from 4 Sol 230 IDC frames were resized (zoomed / sharpened) these show the pit illuminated by the sun close to local noon. The arm was moved between each frame so imaging experts should be able to create 3D models of the pit and estimate depth etc. More sol 230 images were coming down as I assembled this composite.

Attached Image


Sure would appear there is material missing from the hole. Where did it all go? Is the soil so compressible that it is all still there - perhaps pounded into a hard plug at the bottom?
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atomoid
post Jul 23 2019, 11:13 PM
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i'm assuming it has to be soil compaction, but its hard to say whether it collapsed thousands of intergranular voids or something much larger, hopefully this is only a surface phenomenon and wont renter the equation again, but i bet they are wrestling with many what-ifs involved in that question as to considering the way forward, er 'downward' that is!
Below, i hope you forgive my mangling of PaulH51's fine exhibit as repurposed for quick stereo crosseye/anaglyph
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rhr
post Jul 23 2019, 11:29 PM
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Thanks for pointing out that press release. Here's my translation (not well proofread for lack of time):

InSight: operation to rescue the HP3 probe ongoing on Mars

The attempt to redeploy the HP3 instrument has begun on Mars, with the support
of the seismometer SEIS. A description of the situation and the operations
follows.

After its landing on Mars last 26 November, InSight put two instruments on the
surface of Mars: the french seismometer SEIS and the german temperature probe
HP3. Although the deployment and operation of SEIS has gone well, thet's not
yet the case for HP3.

Its objective is to make the mole penetrate 5m under the surface while pulling
behind it a ribbon covered with temperature sensors in order to measure for the
first time the heat flow to the Martian surface. The drilling or hammering
operations have only got the mole 30cm deep. Several hypotheses have been
considered for the blockage of the mole. The proper functioning of the
hammering mechanism has been confirmed thanks to the ability of SEIS to listen
to its impacts. A rock or hard layer underground could be blocking the mole's
progress. But it could also be due to a lack of friction around the mole,
which needs to be able to press against its surroundings (sand, regolith, etc.)
in order for its hammering to move it forward.

The mole was not able to get out of its housing, which prevented the cameras
from visualising the mole's environment. JPL and DLR, who are responsible for
HP3, hae decided on a 3-step process. First, raising the housing to get a look
at the mole and verify that it's not mechanically stuck in this structure.

Next, to raise the housing further in order to completely free the mole and be
able to see all around it. However it is difficult to see the mole because the
camera is located on the same robotic arm that holds the housing, which does
not afford it a good view. So the last step is to set down the housing nearby
once the previous steps have succeeded. Then the DLR team can once again
command the mole to hammer. In case a rock is blocking its progress, being
removed from its sheath will allow it to pivot around it and continue its
progress.

The preparation of this rescue plan for HP3 has been a period of intense study
for the JPL and DLR teams this past month. JPL has an engineering model of HP3
which allowed them to test the operation in the test stand which also has a
model of InSight. These tests are described here:
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8445/insights-te...e/?site=insight

The first step, of slightly raising the structure, took place on 23 June and
the result can be seen in the following image, which gives a clear view of the
mole.

The second step of raising the structure further happened on 26 June, visible in the following image.

In it you can see the mole in a much larger hole than expected, which seems to
validate the hypothesis that a lack of friction impeded its progress. But that
doesn't mean there still isn't a rock blocking its path.

Finally, the last step of putting the housing back down on the ground happened
the last week of June and it also went off without a hitch.

The SEIS operational team at SISMOC in Toulouse participated in two ways.
First of all they made sure the actvities wouldn't negatively impact SEIS, and
gave the SEIS team a "go" for the operation. The restriction for SEIS was that
the HP3 housing not be moved toward SEIS, and was therefore placed more toward
the lander. Additionally, at an operational level, they adapted the the
activities of SEIS to the rescue:
- narrowing the bandpass in order to free up downlink for the diagnostic
images
- reducing the power consumption of certain subsystems, since it's colder on
mars now and the energy available is decreasing as dust deposits on the
solar panels
- furnishing wind data from the weather station APSS relevant to the movement
of the structure
- in the future reconfiguring SEIS to listen to the mole's hammering when that
starts again

SEIS will therefore listen to HP3 and participate in the rescue of the german
instrument, as part of a combined DLR-JPL-CNES direction, remarkable as being
quite different from the original intent of the SEIS mission.

The operational rhythm has also been adpated, changing temporarily from weekly
commands to every 3 days for HP3 and the robotic arm.

The DLR team will now be able to command the mole to continue hammering, and in
the coming days we should see it disappear below the martian ground pulling
behind it the instrumented ribbon. The shovel at the end of the arm will be
used at the same time to press on the ground right around the mole in order to
fill in the hole a little and increase the friction and allow the penetration
to succeed.

All these operations are time-sensitive as the weather is getting colder every
dayand the solar power is dropping, making it harder to use the arm at the end
of a sol. So the operational teams wil have to acheive these steps before
solar conjunction in which the sun will pass between Mars and the earth and
will prevent communication with InSight. Conjunction starts 24 August and time
is counting down, and all operational efforts are now directed to the success
of the redeployment and penetration of HP3.
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nprev
post Jul 24 2019, 02:34 AM
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Thank you very much, rhr. Extremely informative!

Best wishes for success.


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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PaulH51
post Jul 26 2019, 02:45 AM
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3-frame IDC processed GIF - Sol 234: Operation #Savethemole Continues:-
They have lowered the robotic arm and its scoop closer to the pit.
Looks like they are preparing to attempt to collapse the pit around the mole.
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PaulH51
post Jul 28 2019, 10:25 PM
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In this sol 237 IDC frame it looks like they have placed the scoop on the ground ready to begin applying pressure to collapse the pit and increase friction on the mole. Good luck to the team #savethemole
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 28 2019, 11:46 PM
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No, if you look at where the shadow of the scoop extends to its upper left, it must be above the surface.

Phil


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Phil Stooke
post Jul 31 2019, 10:24 PM
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Sol 240:

Attached Image


Now the scoop is touching the ground.

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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PaulH51
post Aug 1 2019, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Aug 1 2019, 06:24 AM) *
Sol 240:

Now the scoop is touching the ground.

After pressing the scoop on the ground, the scoop was stowed and the robotic arm raised away from the mole. Not sure why? A mission update would be welcome.
Sol 240 - 16:59:12.218 (LTST)
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MahFL
post Aug 1 2019, 04:26 AM
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New pics show the ground hardly moved, probably packed solid.
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fredk
post Aug 1 2019, 04:30 AM
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We don't know how much pressure was applied. It may have just been a preliminary test.
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PaulH51
post Aug 1 2019, 04:53 AM
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The scoop left a good impression in the regolith, but like you say we don't know how much pressure was applied.
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