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InSight Surface Operations, 26 Nov 2018-
PaulH51
post Feb 16 2020, 11:43 AM
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Sol 434: Looks like they've pinned the top of the mole next to the ribbon cable, risky but looks like they're setting up for a push...
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algorithm
post Feb 16 2020, 07:44 PM
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Now THAT is what's known as a calculated risk. Fantastic work to set the scoop where it is, well done. A huge risk but with potentially huge rewards. Go for it!

"He who dares wins".

If the sand here is similar to a thin cooked layer over the top of a soufle, then maybe the scoop can follow the mole into the hole!?
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atomoid
post Feb 18 2020, 07:48 PM
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Looks like they will try out pressing the backcap itself, i guess to get a handle on how it reacts, then fill the hole by scraping the adjacent soils into it and pressing on the soil to see if that works.
It appears retrying the backcap approach after the hole has been filled isn't the first approach on the list, implying they seem to think enough friction will be created in that configuration to simply press the soil and see if the hammering is enough. apparently they are reserving the risk of the holding-backcap approach for later.
Latest from Leonard David update 2/18
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Explorer1
post Feb 22 2020, 04:40 AM
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A few more details in this press release from JPL: https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8612/mars-insigh...e/?site=insight

QUOTE
While pinning helped, the mole popped back out of the Martian soil on two occasions, possibly from soil building up from beneath. With few alternatives left, the team has decided to try helping the mole dig by carefully pressing on its back cap while attempting to avoid the tether.

It might take several tries to perfect the back-cap push, just as pinning did. Throughout late February and early March, InSight's arm will be maneuvered into position so that the team can test what happens as the mole briefly hammers.

Meanwhile, the team is also considering using the scoop to move more soil into the hole that has formed around the mole. This could add more pressure and friction, allowing it to finally dig down. Whether they pursue this route depends on how deep the mole is able to travel after the back-cap push.


Next week makers a year since the mole first got stuck! Let's cross our fingers once more.
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fredk
post Feb 22 2020, 03:17 PM
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And the complete DLR blog now public.
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PaulH51
post Yesterday, 04:45 AM
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Sol 441, tiny movement? Small cap press, or possibly a hammer stroke or two.
Most of what we see in this animation (GIF) are shadow changes, but I believe there is a small movement as well.
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