Insight’s arm is positioned to push on the Mole. 


NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Insight lander is a picture of perseverance. The lander deployed a burrowing heat probe, known as the “Mole,” in early 2019 on a mission to dig deep into Mars to take the planet’s temperature. It hasn’t gone well. NASA is now trying a new method to encourage the stuck Mole to move.

The heat probe has a history of popping back out of the Mars soil instead of hammering downward like it’s supposed to. The unexpected soil makeup of this part of Mars seems to be causing the trouble. “Rather than being loose and sandlike, as expected, the dirt granules stick together,” NASA said in a release

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