NASA announced the death of the Mars digger on Thursday after failing to dig deep into the red planet to get the temperature.
Scientists in Germany spent two years trying to obtain a thermal probe called the rat to drill into the crust of Mars. However, the 16-inch (40 cm) equipment that is part of NASA’s InSight lander cannot get enough friction in the red dirt. It was originally supposed to be buried 16 feet (5 meters) into Mars, but only a few feet (about half a meter) was drilled.
After the last failed attempt last weekend with 500 hits, the team called it a withdrawal.
Tilman Spohn, the chief scientist of the German Space Agency, said: “We have given it everything we have, but Mars and our heroic mole are still incompatible.”
He added in a statement that this will facilitate future excavations on Mars. According to NASA, astronauts may one day need to go deep into Mars to find frozen water to drink or make fuel, or to look for microscopic signs of life in the past.
Moore’s design is based on Martian soil examined by previous spacecraft. It turns out that this time it was lumpy dirt.
At the same time, InSight’s French seismograph has recorded nearly 500 earthquakes, and the lander’s weather station provides daily reports. On Tuesday, the highest temperature on Mars Elysium in the Equatorial Plain was 17 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) and the lowest temperature was 56 degrees Celsius (49 degrees Celsius).
The lander was recently awarded a two-year extension of scientific work, which now runs until the end of 2022.
InSight landed on Mars in November 2018. NASA’s latest Perseverance will accompany it, and the probe will land on February 18. The “Curiosity” rover has been roaming Mars since 2012.
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