back to article Mars InSight to stretch its arm and look around as mole-mashing ops are paused

Engineers have hit pause on attempts make the Mars InSight lander's self-hammering mole dig into the red planet as boffins admit "the task is not likely to become easier." The "mole", a probe that is part of an instrument on the lander called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), is supposed to dig down at least …

  1. RM Myers Silver badge

    So NASA engineers and computer security people have similar jobs

    They both spend their days playing whack-a-mole.

    Okay, okay, I'm leaving. No need to push! Jeez, tough crowd.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    The Mole doesn't appear to have any directional stability, just banging about in loose soil it is losing a lot of it's penetrative energy.

    The moles I have seen used for cabling usually initiate from a guide into firm earth horizontally, this is, after the initial deployment from the support structure just flopping around and hasn't been truly vertical from the start.

    I wonder if they could reload it into the support structure and start on a new piece of ground? Probably not I guess.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      You guess correctly. If they could have, they would have.

  3. redpawn Silver badge


    It hit the concrete floor of the stage set, not the area with the pre-planned depression.

    Sorry, it used to be a joke.

  4. ovation1357 Bronze badge

    I’m zorry. Ze Mole is grounded. He can’t come out and play...

    He zaid very naughty things about God.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    If only

    If only a couple of hapless astronauts were trapped down the hole.

    We could send Virgil and Gordon with The Mole.

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