Insight lander - Page 3

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Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 41

PostPosted: May 5, 2019 12:57 PM 

A new view of the InSIGHT lander with equipment deployed. The newest HiRISE catalog image is of good quality and a near overhead view at mid-day lighting.

At 4X scale approximately even the MOLE housing is visible. The mid-toned extension to the MOLE may be the arm, or it may be possible to see the instrument strap, both together seems likely. We could see a spacesuit with this detailed view.

HiRISE image catalog, ESP_059495_1845
April 6, 2019, at 170 miles altitude, 2:18 pm local Mars time.

The landing location is describes as a 'volcanic plain' and referred to as 'relatively smooth'. I see two arcs of impinging layers from the sides, with the lander in the narrow smoother corridor area between the to sets of impact surges or flows fronts, heavy secondary or mixed small crater types. Interesting colors in the local material.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 42

PostPosted: May 10, 2019 5:18 PM 

Ref., replies #32 and #34, the under deck large item has yet another appearance at a differing angle on the raw image list as the sol's pass by us. The object now appears to nearly be merged with the hoses of the lander, with very patterned face textures, yet again it is clearly on the ground level, with contact to the soil.
Beside it is the leg pad and a rock, with a probable retro rocket circular spot where the soil is cleared and removed by force. The below surface 'soil' is well compacted angular material but does not appear to be cemented with an altered tough 'duricrust' to my view.

This is a sol 151 altered image of the under deck object from the newest viewpoint.

Color of the items appears to be muted and consistent item to item throughout. Can someone show other color as two types of materials? In some altered views the hosing and deck appear to be separate from the 'rock'.

John Radogno

Posts: 37

Reply: 43

PostPosted: May 11, 2019 10:02 AM 

Is InSite sinking into the soil?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 44

PostPosted: May 16, 2019 12:23 PM 

The MOLE housing seems to set on the surface well, I can't see well the lander leg pads in direct sunlight yet, but checking that is probably a good idea. In the sol 160 images of the solar panel, the ground shows a pit nearby and a furrow or channel into the background with a rough surface beyond the immediate landing spot.
I altered the image some and it appears the ground may consist of sections with fill between sections.
While that may be fine dust trails, I altered the MOLE area closeups and they gave the impression of fractured ground.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 45

PostPosted: May 25, 2019 12:10 PM 

The repeated imaging of the low spot in the lander area seems to show no rim effect and no directional outward blast trail of retro-rocket nozzles, as I altered this and reduced it to 32 tones, without any viewable evidence I can see. No exposed rocks in the depressed spot. This was a sol 168 image, original left half (511x1024) is unaltered and overlay inserted.
The rock exposures seem solid and without degraded edges on most all.

The altered image.

What would cause a depression without internal items of any size and shape? The fill of particulate seems to show a slight rise with possible steep slope?
Would the lander have jumped from such a smooth location to the current spot with just small breakage items to tilt the lander orientation detectors?

Original image credits, NASA/JPL/Caltech.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 46

PostPosted: May 25, 2019 1:15 PM 

A similar view. Sol 168 again. Altered, with right side overlay as original.

Altered image view.

Original image credits, NASA/JPL/Caltech.

It appears large structures are below the surface, with vacuous spaces between, or possible clearing of some area from very localized activity in the past?


Posts: 1195

Reply: 47

PostPosted: May 25, 2019 2:08 PM 

The small depression in a more balanced, altered view. Definitely no blast trails around the steep walls, no items in the low, but the appearance of rounded and differing shapes and disturbances right at the spot exposed.
A small tubular object is seen in the foreground casting a shadow.

The crop is at 1x but highly altered.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 48

PostPosted: May 29, 2019 4:03 PM 

The depression is similar in size to the lander and descent rocket pattern, but the even overall wall shape and depth, and the lack of uneven debris beyond the depression, would cause me to question whether this was the initial attempt at landing.
The suggestion was the lander platform was at an angle to steep for a safe landing, and the lander rose and descended a second time.
Perhaps this was where that occurred.

The soil appearance below the lander deck, seems both soft at depth, and a combination of broken unaltered material, not all small items. The rock I presented was in early images as a size probably large enough to cause the hp3 MOLE hammering device to fail if another similar item was just below the housing.
These are altered images from sol 14, most of them rotated 180 degrees to show up as at the top of the image frame. Only a large solid rock would seems to be diverting the hammer from descending if the compaction is similar at a foot. Possibly the breakage is graded to larger sizes at depth?

The larger items seem to be from a thick and solid layer of a flow.

The weather is now showing a low at night of -150 degrees F, with a single low claim of -208.3 for May 22, 2019.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 49

PostPosted: June 2, 2019 11:47 AM 

The pit imaged in replies #45-47, and the first image in #48, here I believe is showing a HiRISE view of the rover inset at about 4x with a altered view of the pit in a black margined box. If I have found the correct feature in the HiRISE altered view, it shows a circular feature just about right in size and shape for the landing nozzles, if they would make a steep walled smooth pit of the shape shadowed in the images. It required flipping and rotating the image inset, so it remains to be accepted as correctly done. The view is over the lander deck from the InSIGHT selfie view, giving sunlight from the foreground and right side, wind trailing features from near left to background far right side, and most items seem to match. I am sure NASA and researchers will have good views of the items assembled eventually.
The originals are from the Sol 14 InSIGHT images,

The rear leg pads for the MOLE housing have been beaten or sunken into the soil somewhat more than the forelegs during the hammering and skipping.

Image credits, originals, NASA/JPL/Caltech


Posts: 1195

Reply: 50

PostPosted: June 11, 2019 12:09 PM 

Weather at the InSIGHT location is now trending to -155 degrees F lows, averaging -92 degrees F and lower, winds about 33-38 mph peak speed, and the pressure is creeping upward during the past 4 months.
The newest planned MOLE digging solution is to move the housing several times in a weeks time, use the arm to apply pressure from the side and above the mechanism to try to aid in hammering friction, then possibly extract the hammering device from the soil and re-position it to allow a further attempt to continue the planned digging to depth.
The instrument tether looks very frail, but the most difficult process may be lifting the device from the soil and reinserting it.
The housing foot pads show evidence of additional hammering or initial movement of the housing possibly.

Sol 189 image

Site description of the planned solution to be completed by mid-July.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 51

PostPosted: June 23, 2019 12:01 PM 

June 16 to 18, 2019, Sol 197 to sol 199, the 3 day weather pattern shows hourly averages displayed in the chart, giving an apparent pattern. As we see only the minimums, maximums, and hourly fixed averages, the impression of weather swings are without real interpretation science value as minute to minute changes can dwarf the hourly pattern and mask the true weather occurring.
Here I have displayed a series of 3 day straight line changes, a decline in the maximum wind speed, an increase in the predawn minimum wind speed, a very slight decline in the minimum air pressure, along with a decline in the maximum temperature.
Without regional weather knowledge, space weather information, and moment to moment information about wind variable patterns I wouldn't try to understand the details of a short term pattern.

Original image credits; Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/CAB
Image altered as described by myself.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 52

PostPosted: June 29, 2019 2:41 PM 

Finally action on a closer look, with an attempt to make the decision on which correction is best.
The mole housing is lifted, showing the large topmost appearance of the hole with no traction along the length of the hammer device.
2x view, but no detail below the surface visible in the sidewalls of the wallowed hole on sol 207.

Original, sol 207.

A view on sol 206, with a better sun angle, showing some debris collection at the lower reach of the hammer device, also at 2x, dpi 1647. The housing is partly lifted.

Original, sol 206,

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 53

PostPosted: June 29, 2019 3:31 PM 

Sol 207 view of the activity, inset 2x view added.

Original image,

In looking at the originals it appeared to me that there might be a small item of a slight color difference from the gravel particles, possibly matching the color of the extension from the hammer device. Located near the center of the housing and directly below it, separated from the hammer by a couple inches toward the rear of the housing, it is seen in one of the closer views. To see a differing color I had to increase the saturation to nearly maximum. I could just be the sun angle on a small rock.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 54

PostPosted: June 30, 2019 9:30 PM 

With the HP3 mole housing back on the ground after a successful elevation and move, the hammer is visible with the hole enlarged at the top.
It appeared the foot pad stopped the side motion at the upper end of the hammer device on the right side of the housing in the early images, but the hole has an angular shape with sharp corners appearing not shaped by the pads in this latest image.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 55

PostPosted: June 30, 2019 9:48 PM 

Strange how much this upper shape of the hole can appear different from one day to the next.

The soil material appears loose, soft, and with just a few small gravel sized items to several inches depth.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 56

PostPosted: July 6, 2019 2:54 PM 

The weather report for July 4, 2019, appears to have been offline or compromised for a part of the day, and may be adjusted later.

Current weather access for real-time week.

The sol 213 shadow was timed well for a view of the mole pit, and I have added several views of the shadowed area on the right near the housing right front foot pad marks.
The high contrast views show a curious 'shiny' reflective rounded item which is similar to the metal extensions on the top of the hammer mechanism. High saturation viewing of the item gives it a 'white' balance excessive to the other items appearing the be irregular gravel at the bottom of the shadowed area. Is there a chance something has been knocked from the hammer end? Only a team member would recognize such a small defect in the upper portion of the hammer device. The small item even seems to cast a right side shadow within the darkest shadowed zone, and appears glassy or metallic.
The enlarged view is 840x600, 3X, at 1647 DPI.

A view of the shadow zone at lower contrast, also 3X at 1647 DPI, from sol 213, D000M0213_615440100EDR_F0000_0250M_.PNG,

Original image,

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/CAB , for originals.

Could not leave the holiday alone as is. There had to be something to make this world a mystery.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 57

PostPosted: July 6, 2019 3:31 PM 

Additional views of the item, combined on the enlarged crop. If nothing in the world is important at the moment take a look at an object the size of a pea which could change the game.

I added these two views so they could be viewed full size by those who resist downloading items from the host and myself. The persons overseeing this mission would have seen this by now, but why a such a glassy/metallic object in the recess, with no other objects similar?


Posts: 1195

Reply: 58

PostPosted: July 6, 2019 4:29 PM 

Yet another view, this one is at 7X, DPI 1647, saturation of color reduced 50 points on a scale of 100, and a close cropped view of the actual color variation from the local color of soil, dust, and rocks.
The full sized enlarged view can be downloaded from the link on the lower right next to the 'share' buttons. To see the largest view online, click the image on the page, which would be about 3X of the original.
This object is blue to silver, close to a real white balanced object we would see on Earth as metal.

What is in the shadow of the pit?


Posts: 1195

Reply: 59

PostPosted: July 6, 2019 5:23 PM 

This view with several insets at 3X and 7X enlargement shows the shape, color, and uniqueness of the particle in the shadow zone. It may be nothing. Waiting for a view in full sunlight.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 60

PostPosted: July 12, 2019 12:58 PM 

I find it a point of imagination that we have front foot pads in motion multiple times, with rear foot pads not jumping or bouncing. A lack of directional obstruction would not produce a bouncing side-stepping housing. The underside of the housing and it's shape is important now.
Which items or shapes could be exposed in the shadows is important as it is either material from the instruments, or raw material from below ground.
The missing mass allowing for the hole produced and the lack of apparent angular shattered rock fragments gives the impression of a great difference in the soil content at the hammer location. Under the lander is seen much angular debris and even large rocks. The hammer device has no 'drop- down' guide tube to start the friction around the hammered hole at the upper end and there is an apparent wear mark at a fixed height on the hammer device.
It appears the change of foot pad ground impression changed suddenly and completely in two altered positions.
Surely the team is looking at the shadowed items that appear metallic or basalt colored?

Sol 220,

Would they risk scooping this material with the arm to investigate the blue to silver colored material prior to simply trying to compress and fill the hole for added friction? I see a probable obstruction, either basalt or metal, possibly even lost parts in the hole, indicating serious lack of probable success burying the hammer.

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