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InSight Surface Operations, 26 Nov 2018-
atomoid
post Oct 23 2019, 10:26 PM
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Mole: the legend continues, episode:322
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kungpostyle
post Oct 25 2019, 12:14 PM
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New post at the DLR blog:

https://www.dlr.de/blogs/en/all-blog-posts/...aspx/ressort-2/


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kungpostyle
post Oct 27 2019, 01:06 AM
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The new images do not look good.


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Hungry4info
post Oct 27 2019, 01:28 AM
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Ouch.
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stevesliva
post Oct 27 2019, 01:29 AM
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Yikes. Rapidly backwards.
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Explorer1
post Oct 27 2019, 02:49 AM
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An image from 12:30 or so shows the tether as a bit blurry, like it was moving when the image was taken. Very strange! What will SEIS have recorded...
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MahFL
post Oct 27 2019, 02:54 AM
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QUOTE (Hungry4info @ Oct 27 2019, 02:28 AM) *
Ouch.



What the bleep happened ?
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anticitizen2
post Oct 27 2019, 05:35 AM
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is it gonna fall over when they lift the scoop....
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Keatah
post Oct 27 2019, 06:01 AM
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QUOTE (anticitizen2 @ Oct 27 2019, 05:35 AM) *
is it gonna fall over when they lift the scoop....


Looks quite precarious.. indeed..

Surprised the mole design doesn't include angled prongs/barbs that only allow forward movement. Also surprised at the high-frequency the mole hammers with - all that does is encourage material to settle at the bottom. At least it did in my toy sandbox when I was a kid.

Digging here on Earth involves pushing a lot of mass at low frequency to break things, it's common sense. High frequency movements just pack things, and the mole is packing itself backwards it seems.

I also hope they're considering the angle of the bucket/scoop. Aligning it one way will promote downward movement, another way will cause it back out.

Well.. they know what they're doing.
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Decepticon
post Oct 27 2019, 09:27 AM
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I was so excited and now this happened.

I'm very worried.
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tanjent
post Oct 27 2019, 10:38 AM
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First sentence of the most recent DLR blog post:

"On sol 318 we had the Mole execute 150 more strokes that brought the back-cap of the Mole so close to the scoop that continuing with pinning was no longer considered safe."

So maybe they have accidentally snagged the back-cap while moving the scoop? I doubt that the mole could jump like that under its own power.
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stevesliva
post Oct 27 2019, 01:45 PM
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I think the scoop was already moved off the mole and into to the position where it presses on the adjacent surface. It sounded like this round of digging was hopefully to make the mole disappear beneath the surface at which point they were going to pause and move the support structure back. That might helped to prevent this, but I don't know because this is weird.

I'm also very worried.
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Hungry4info
post Oct 27 2019, 02:53 PM
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The most recent images show it has come out even further, and has started to tip over some more. The ground also appears more compressed. Is it possible we were somewhat filling the hole, and the mole was bouncing off the dirt as it filled in?
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nprev
post Oct 27 2019, 06:49 PM
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Has anyone seen any sort of official statement from the program yet? Hopefully they have derived at least a tentative explanation for this bizarre occurrence.

Can't imagine that this ever happened during testing. If nothing else, this is a reminder that a- testing can never encompass all possible contingencies and b- there isn't anything easy about Mars.

EDIT: New from the InSight Twitter/FB feed:

"Mars continues to surprise us. While digging this weekend the mole backed about halfway out of the ground. Preliminary assessment points to the unexpected soil properties as the main reason.

One possibility that has been observed in testing on Earth is that soil could fall in front of the mole’s tip as it rebounds, gradually filling the hole in front of it as the mole backs out. My team continues to look over the data and will have a plan in the next few days."


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Keatah
post Oct 27 2019, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Oct 27 2019, 06:49 PM) *
One possibility that has been observed in testing on Earth is that soil could fall in front of the mole’s tip as it rebounds, gradually filling the hole in front of it as the mole backs out. My team continues to look over the data and will have a plan in the next few days."


That's a result of high-frequency drilling. You don't see jackhammers working at such rates.
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