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Emily LakdawallaFebruary 12, 2019

Touchdown for InSight's Heat Probe

InSight has gone two for two, placing the second of its instruments gently on the Martian ground. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3, pronounced "H-P-cubed") is on the ground next to the seismometer. It was placed at about 10:39 local solar time on InSight's sol 76 (today, 12 February). This is great news! Now it's time to bury the "mole" in the ground. I plan to have a more detailed update on the progress of the mission next week. In the meantime, you can check in on InSight through its raw images page here.

InSight places the heat probe instrument on the ground, sol 76 (ICC)

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Emily Lakdawalla

InSight places the heat probe instrument on the ground, sol 76 (ICC)
InSight successfully placed the second of its two deployable science instruments on the Martian ground on sol 76 (12 February 2019). The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3), left, will deploy a self-hammering mole to a depth of as many as 5 meters below the surface, trailing a cable that carries thermal sensors and heaters. At right is the previously placed SEIS seismometer instrument with its wind and thermal shield.

InSight places the heat probe instrument on the ground, sol 76 (IDC)

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Emily Lakdawalla

InSight places the heat probe instrument on the ground, sol 76 (IDC)
InSight successfully placed the second of its two deployable science instruments on the Martian ground on sol 76 (12 February 2019). The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3), left, will deploy a self-hammering mole to a depth of as many as 5 meters below the surface, trailing a cable that carries thermal sensors and heaters. At right is the previously placed SEIS seismometer instrument with its wind and thermal shield. This view is from the arm-mounted camera.

Read more: InSight, pics of spacecraft in space, amateur image processing, mission status, Mars

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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