Aeronautics and engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena are working on a new strategy to restart the troubled Mars instrument, where the thermal flow device and physical properties are provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of the InSight Mars landing craft.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the thermal probe must be tested at a depth of up to 5 meters inside Martian territory, but stopped on February 28 after it drilled only 30 cm below the surface.
The probe was believed to have been hit by a rock, but several months after testing a replica on the ground, a different reason was found. Tests indicate that the Mars soil does not provide sufficient friction to the probe, so the probe is in place.
NASA is now planning to lift the probe’s support structure to see what is going on, but there is a risk, they should be careful not to pull the probe off the ground.
If the operation is successful, they can press the area using the spacecraft’s robot arm to increase friction around the probe, and the exact procedure is due to begin near the end of this month.