Weird fix for NASA’s stuck lander
NASA engineers say they've fixed the Mars lander by telling it to hit itself with a shovel.
The InSight lander, which is currently on Mars, faced unexpected problems when its 38-centimetre digging probe became stuck in the soil.
After a few failed attempts, the lander was freed - thanks to NASA encouraging it to "hit itself" with the jackhammer-like shovel.
NASA revealed the news on Twitter, writing: "A bit of good news from #Mars: our new approach of using the robotic arm to push the mole appears to be working!
"The teams @NASAJPL/@DLR_en are excited to see the images and plan to continue this approach over the next few weeks. #SaveTheMole."
Popular science deemed the rescue operation as "risky", as it could have damaged the tether - which provides power and communications from the lander - that is attached to the back part of the mole.
A bit of good news from #Mars: our new approach of using the robotic arm to push the mole appears to be working! The teams @NASAJPL/@DLR_en are excited to see the images and plan to continue this approach over the next few weeks. 💪 #SaveTheMole— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) March 13, 2020
FAQ: https://t.co/wnhp7c1gPT pic.twitter.com/5wYyn7IwVo
Images show the probe appears to be working again, and NASA hopes to continue this technique with the shovel over the next few weeks.
The InSight's mission is to analyse temperature fluctuations inside the Red Planet in an attempt to understand how similar Mars' core is to Earth's.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Weird fix for NASA's stuck lander