InSight has laid its second instrument on the Martian surface. The new images confirm that the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3, was successfully placed on the Martian surface about a meter away from the seismometer on February 12.
The HP3 is equipped with a “hammering” system that will allow it (hopefully!) to penetrate the Martian soil to a depth of up to 5 meters in order to measure the thermal gradient due to Mars’ internal heat.
It will take some time to reach that depth, and if any rocks prevent it from reaching the maximum expected depth, it is hoped to reach at least 3 meters in order to provide meaningful scientific data on the thermal conductivity of the subsurface…

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