“Behold the ‘mole’,” NASA said in a statement after the ‘mole’ after it became visible on Mars last week, following an operation that removed its support structure. The mole, the informal name for a digging device on Mars, is part of the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), an instrument designed to take the temperature below the surface of Mars.
Use of mole
Built by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), HP3 measures the temperature of the interior to study the quantity of heat flowing out of Mars, and determine its source. This will help scientists find similarities if any between the makeup of Earth and Mars, and look for clues on the Red Planet’s evolution.
Details of mole
The mole, a self-hammering device, can dig up to 5 m below the surface, but was unable to dig deeper than 30 cm. This could be either because the soil failed to provide the kind of friction the mole was designed for, or because it encountered a large rock. On June 28, NASA’s InSight lander used a robotic arm to move the mole’s support structure.