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Between 13:54:53 LMST and 13:56:40 LMST operations started to lift HP3 and thus expose the “MOLE” penetrator in an attempt to remedy the jamming of the penetrator itself.
In fact MOLE stopped almost immediately at a depth of only 30cm instead of the expected 5m.
From the first photos, MOLE appears to be quite inclined, something that was already expected, a sign that it has probably reached a solid layer and the subsequent attempts to penetrate it have only led to a lateral slippage of the tip of the penetrator itself, which is also slightly rounded.
I find truly absurd the design error of HP3 and MOLE, based on the absurd assumption that the penetrator would have encountered only soft sand or at most some small pebbles easily scalable.
First of all Elysium Planitia, the landing site of InSight, is known as a volcanic area where, in spite of its smooth and regular appearance, there may be layers of hard rock just below the sandy surface.
As if that wasn’t enough, Elysium Planitia is rich in frozen water as we read from Wikipedia:

“A photo of Elysium Planitia taken by the Mars Express spacecraft in 2005 shows that it may be covered with water ice. It has been estimated that the volume of ice may be 800 to 900 km across and 45 m deep, very similar in width and depth to the North Sea.
The ice is thought to be the result of the remnants of some water flooding and lava flows in the Cerberus Fossae (Cerberus Pits), surface cracks dated to approximately 2 to 10 million years ago.”

So MOLE may very well have encountered a massive ice layer as well!
In any case, ice layer or rock layer, I have very strong doubts that MOLE can resume drilling the Martian soil and reach the five meters of depth expected, simply it has been badly designed.
In my very humble opinion, MOLE should have been at least equipped with a diamond tip (really pointed!) possibly rotating; from a team of overpaid engineers I would have expected something a bit more innovative instead of that kind of “sex shop dildo”!!!
Despite my deep disappointment I will follow the progress of this attempt with great interest and curiosity for what I think will prove to be a mission impossible.

Original images:

Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) 13:54:53 LMST

Instrument Context Camera (ICC) 13:56:40 LMST

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