Insight lander - Page 5

Previous 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Next
Author Message
Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 81

PostPosted: August 14, 2019 1:51 PM 

Sol 253 images, presented Sol 254,
August 14, 2019

A view at low contrast, 2X enlargement, dpi1647,

A higher contrast view of the shadow zone, also at 2X size if downloaded and viewed, 640 x 480. pixels.

Seems no obstruction of the scoop in the several gestures. Will the hole require to be overfilled to accomplish a compression of the particulates against the metal tube?

The added gesturing has broken the surface into what appears to be small to fine patterns, without large objects.

I made these views larger only to show the disrupted soil from new efforts and to compare the darker distribution of thrown material on the left side beyond the tube.

The smooth item is still visible in the same position in the hole next to the metal hammer device.

Original images, credits; NASA/JPL-Caltech

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 82

PostPosted: August 15, 2019 3:48 PM 

Some changes in the late issued images of Sol 253 and Sol 254 show in the listing today, Sol 255, Aug 15, 2019.
The enlarged views are at 3X if downloaded, probably about 1X seen on the blog here without clicking the image-links. The DPI is 1647 again, so some blurring happens with lessened pixel interference seen here.
The hole remains unfilled, but is rather roughed up.
The scoop seems to have uncovered what appears to be concreted 3D shapes with brightened rim casings possibly. I don't believe it looks like direct scoop pressuring of the loose materials. Possibly the soil has been altered in sections? Chemistry or physical scuffing of the particulates near the surface? The general disrupted soil is dark. The 'rind' irregular shapes appear bright and of uniform thickness. Is that the actual soil condition? Those patterns are just below the background action limit, and are surrounded by dark loose material. I can mark them if requested.
These images are 'catch up' inclusions in the prior days pictures. We are being given images over several days timing. No statement as to how many are not sent to the lists at all.

Sol 253

Sol 254

Original image credits,

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 83

PostPosted: August 17, 2019 5:25 PM 

Interesting that images for Sol 254 are being uploaded or released on the site, on Sol 257, August 17, 2019. The Sol 253 image presented here is an enlarged view when downloaded, and is beginning to break down some at just 2X without much alteration. The cropped image section was 560x400, to include the roughed soil surface area. The DPI was 1647, at 2X size, for 1120x800 finish size.
The first view is at 'gamma' 2.1 setting showing what now appears a two flat bright sections of a single layer or broken item, not looking as pieces of the surface material but rather solid objects I did not see prior. Am I wrong about the unusually bright items? Would pressed particulates appear to be oriented in a single layer and would they be as bright as seen if they were at the bottom of the hole?
The second view is at normal brightness and contrast but at the 2X settings, same finish size.

These are images I have just downloaded, and I may have missed early this week.

How many mysteries can be found in one small shovel load of regolith/soil?

Waiting for new work to be displayed.

I imagine at some point they would probably test the heater effects in the hole after filling in, and it appears they are pressing the surface with some pressure applied now.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 84

PostPosted: August 18, 2019 3:02 PM 

Images of Sol 257 are available, but no view of the bright reflective slab section on the wall from this angle and lighting in the final image listed. The section here is a 500 x 400 crop view at normal settings. That makes it less than a 1 to 1 size in the thumbnails.
The impression is that the hammer tube appears further into the soil than prior days images show. Could just be the angle of incidence.

This second image is a 3X enlarged and further cropped view of the hole remaining. The setting change is 'gamma' of 3 leaving just a few tones in the darkest shadows. Colors are distorted by the change. DPI is 1647, size of the crop is 280 x 200 prior to enlargement to 840 x 600 when downloaded. The view should be about 1 to 1 in the thumbnail image.
No view of the bright thin slab item, but the several dark rounded small objects in the far right of the shadow area, and a small slide of loose material has collapsed the wall at the near right. Filling the hole seems loose but successful thus far. Can this type of material be compressed sufficiently to make a friction hold on the upper end of the metal tube with a couple inches exposed?
Could the scoop be effective after repeated compression attempts?

Original image source link,

Image credits, originals;

An interesting last note today, in the foreground of the hole on the exposed surface, there is a angular rock broken across the shaded left rock face, and along the long axis of the shading is a near matching set of thin bright items parallel to the soil surface. Surely the broken rock is not related to the bright similar shaped items in the hole seen in the Sol 253 image? Brightness or reflectivity seems a little different.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 85

PostPosted: August 18, 2019 3:57 PM 

I suspect most will never see the bright section in the small rock if it is not posted, so here is the added view of the near matching items. This related to the bright items in reply #83 at the bottom of the hole far wall. Perhaps this process is common on Mars, but it is possible the two objects were related prior to the InSIGHT landing, or during the excavation of the hole during hammering. Something to study while the hole is filled.
The setting of the altered section is 'levels' 115 to 220, with a 'canvas' section added to the bottom as the image host posts text over the images in the second linked largest view. Download for the best viewing.
At the upper section of the far hole inner wall there are still brighter areas which appear to be 'rind' zones of altered material which seems to have been below the surface possibly prior to the excavation process.
Active soil chemistry, radiation, or original infilling of the area during deposition long past?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 86

PostPosted: August 18, 2019 10:17 PM 

After some looking at the 3X view of these Sol 257 images, the grapple looks like a very 'pebbly' surface. Is it possible for ice to form on a metal at this temperature and low pressure?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 87

PostPosted: August 19, 2019 11:46 AM 

I can see to reply # 83 today, but none of the entries after that timing. Based on that and memory, The suggestion that the team is entering into an investigation of the regolith/soil and hammer mechanism interaction probably would indicate the SEIS recording and analysis is underway first during the extensive timing delays of the IDA scoop movements on the surface during periodic infilling and particulate movements.
There are slopes now being created, smoothing of the disrupted surface caused by the scoop lip digging, and dragging of the flat scoop face across the disrupted materials.
Testing the sensitivity of the SEIS mechanism would be important ongoing information as a base for future near and distant activity recordings.

Work describing the technical aspects of the arm and SEIS machinery planned investigation of the surface details, similar to the observed events in the recent weeks returned images.

The teams seem to be taking a slow approach to the use of the equipment while measuring the minor activities as an opportunity to tune the various instruments for future work.
They seem to be progressing to the section 5.6 in the use of the arm and scoop for detail work.

Hopefully they can estimate the amount of formation and reformation of local near surface materials based upon the view and instruments.
Have the minor units formed along the near vertical walls shown altered states after assembly by whatever mechanism deposited the loose materials? Is the surface a type that would allow a 5 meter hammering penetration or not?

Additional similar publications with related reference information about the preparation and planned work. Reference numbers are differing for each publication by topic and content.


The pebble surface texture of the grapple fingers would aid considerably in reducing adhesion if ice were suspected of interferring with pressured contact to the soil or objects, but I imagine there is a anti-static or other coating applied to the metal outer surfaces for a reason. Something to investigate while the IDA 'arm' is used in close quarters with the soil and extreme weather objects on Mars.

John Radogno

Posts: 37

Reply: 88

PostPosted: August 19, 2019 12:18 PM 

That could be condensation. Do you know what time of day the image was taken?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 89

PostPosted: August 20, 2019 11:02 AM 

Today I can see post #86, and no further. This continues the posting of possible water ice or other surface transparent chemistry on the grapple fingers of the IDA. I have reviewed a few early images for similar surface textures and will have to cover the several months for a study of the topic.

The landing released considerable retro-rocket chemistry, as with the similar problem seen on the Phoenix lander, and the arguments are somewhat similar except for weather and latitude/altitude differences. Inherent ice content just below the surface or weather front altered conditions may be controlling the comparison of the two situations.

A view of the grapple device fingers upon the landing, Sol 1, versus the view of Sol 257, months later. Lighting is different, and weather has altered the scene.
The view is at 3X in the smaller image, and enlarged in the larger view to 6X for downloading viewing at the full 6X size. I am sure now this is a real process, certainly noticed by many who watch these images on large screens. As I use a small laptop for this work currently, I see only the textures after enlarging images.

1600 x 1200, 6X, of original,

840 x 600, 3X, of original,

Only a download of the images shows the full sized view available.

A view of the InSIGHT lander deck, apparently sprayed with fuel from thrusters either as a liquid or a gas, then condensed, unless another source of ice can be surmised from the landing spot.
The view is altered and enlarged from the original to 3X here, Sol 12 of the mission. Could the bright material be a spray other than ice from below?

I can present the originals as links, but the file names on the image host contain both the file name, dates, and the alterations I have made from original conditions. I will discuss this while watching for further work on the mole device.

Is there inherent sufficient ice to present the views or is this a remnant of the landing event? Is the subsurface an active differing weather product of the Mars climate?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 90

PostPosted: August 20, 2019 12:43 PM 

I will leave one additional challenge for today, from Sol 8, in the interpretation of possible ice on grapple fingers. These images show enlarged views of the fingers after one week on Mars. The enlargements also show a large amount of the 'pixel noise' as texture, so the viewing is always suspect from both perspectives. Does the finger surface and material have a quality causing ice accumulation even in varied times and sunlight angles? Is the entire concept impossible? Does the image show the limits of alteration and interpretation of textures?
After spending years watching materials and surfaces respond differently on Earth to the temperature and humidity fluctuations I can't decide how to look at this. It is possible that both noise and ice could be present and viewed as a combination.
Even looking into a dark shadow can produce distortions severely.

Sol 8, enlarged to 3X and altered. Texture seemingly both surface texture and pixel noise.

We have discussed sublimation in general, but can a liquid or a condensed/converted gas now ice be self confining and preserved over long periods of timing on Mars?

Original image link, Sol 8,

Original image credits; NASA/JPL-Caltech

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 91

PostPosted: August 20, 2019 3:08 PM 

John, referencing your post of #88, the timing of the images was 5:02 PM on Mars, yet we are looking at from freezing to -90F and lower, so any ice on a metal or plastic would be as solid as could be imagined, barring radiation sublimation alteration. The problem is that the pressure and sunlight should both be working against a solid ice according to routine explanations. I see this texture at 2X enlargement easily, and it is viewed at 1 to 1 as well with careful detailed looking.
The timing of various images showing textures appearing as thick transparent ice is from varied timing, so that makes me suspect the particular items are causing the textural surface whatever the cause. I don't see much other surface effect on other materials.
I do not see the effect on the Sol 1 day after the landing for these grapple fingers. The change has occurred after the landing and deployment began apparently.

If the detailed views show the matching texture at small scale doesn't change in subsequent weeks it should be a coating or other solid, not ice, I would estimate. Surely ice cannot exist continuously on the fingers.
Unusual items to look at on the surface of both the large rock near the lander and the smaller rock along the far left upper portion of the IDA. Both show large semi-solid textures and open vesicles from degassing. Some of the larger rock surface is bright but not as bright as the small flat layer content I showed in the hole exposure and inside the shadowed side of the very small rock shown in the altered Sol 257 enlargements.
I jumped from one Sol 257 image to another working on the images and was confused about the timing, so I'll look again to see if I made a file number mistake somewhere.
I began using this laptop with Win 10, and have found a few glitches in files and automated processes to work out.
I am going to attempt to upload a full frame view of one of the Sol 257 views so all textures can be viewed along with the larger rocks in the scene. I assume you can access all my images as I can by using the left and right sequence buttons when looking at the hosting links. If you cannot, I'll display images differently in the future.

One of the images,

The other image, both show similar textures at differing distance,

The last image here was 4:33 PM, similar to the 5 PM timing of the first.
The mystery is why no texture on the fingers of Sol 1 if this is not ice.

Two added views, one full frame fingers altered area, and the last is a crop with yet another alteration view of the fingers with lighted bright raised adhering 'drops' all over the finger ends, and length, both at 3X if downloaded.

John Radogno

Posts: 37

Reply: 92

PostPosted: August 21, 2019 10:15 AM 

We will have to watch to see if the ice evaporates over time.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 93

PostPosted: August 21, 2019 11:53 AM 

Various references to coatings, silicon oxide on metals, and then 'wax' for a release mechanism for the IDA grapple. If only it looked like wax in the images, and, I have to look for the particular item in a particular place. I'll be right back soon. They put wax on a Mars lander?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 94

PostPosted: August 21, 2019 12:19 PM 


Reference to generalities, but no mention of wax on grapple fingers.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 95

PostPosted: August 21, 2019 5:48 PM

The arm on Mars as a 'color calibrated' PNG image, PIA 22873, both as a original link, and the enlarged crop at #x, routine alteration by myself, showing shaded portions of some of the bright blue spots which in this image seem to be separated color information. Resolving the content or colors becomes a problem of color info versus real physical chemistry or reflection.

Crop area 320 240x 3X, 960x720 here if downloaded.

I don't want to repeatedly post images without some reference about the metal fingers on a written document or a parts listing somewhere. Something here is real, bluer in this image, and casts a shadow, but may be fixed in place and a surface characteristic of the finish.

Perhaps the supplier or JPL or another group will explain the effect eventually. The lander machinery generally seems to be working well, even the pressured infilling underway.
I would be surprised if the wax was leaking from the actuator mechanism around the outside of the fingers in just spots and points of location, rather than a running semi-solid. Wax seems unlikely involved but a surface application is possible.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 96

PostPosted: August 22, 2019 9:01 AM 

The actuator-wax-heater device is close to the upper end of the fingers of the grapple.

A reference to the actual device used in a catalog listing. The device has redundant heaters at ten watts power, but melts paraffin and can be used repeatedly.

Possibly that is the source of heat for condensation from some source of a gas? The product description lists the actuator as resistant to outgassing, and well sealed against wax loss.

Pages 39 to 40, shows the satellite and aerospace systms they are used in.

JPL refitted the arm with the grapple and I remember reading about lubrication of the cam mechanism, pin, and possibly the fingers.

Would a lubricant migrate to the outer finger faces and be so thick as to make droplets all over the upper ends?

This document has a description of the grapple at 4.4.2-3 section, but no reference to the possibility of moisture accumulation.

More when the battery is recharged here.
Where would droplets form from?
The soil or locally on the lander body, or, the atmosphere in the daily weather swings?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 97

PostPosted: August 22, 2019 5:23 PM 

I was cut off my connection here as I posted, so I'll have to try it a second time.
Mars is drifting a degree or two colder by the week.

A yellow colored lighting of the ForeSight device grapple, one of the test substitutes for the InSIGHT lander grapple, here is enlarged and altered to a similar degree as the Mars images. The enlargement here is a 560 x 400 crop section of a 3X, DPI 1647 enlargement, with a subsequent full sized enlargement below that, and then a non-enlarged view of the grapple not altered but only a larger crop view of the grapple.
The three images show that the enlarged make it easier to see a texture on the sides of the finger castings similar to the 'water droplet' texture on the real InSIGHT finger faces.
The surface of the much more detailed view of the ForeSight grapple shows no outside finger surface texture, even when enlarged to 3X. The texture which is matching is only on the edges (sides) of the fingers. The problem with the comparison is that while the claim is of two matching grapples, they are clearly of differing materials, finishes, and detail in the originals. There is also the color balance problem which would mask any appearance of bluer sections of texture or shape.
The preparations of the two clearly also did not match when worked on at JPL in the adaptation and reconstruction of the two.

There may be a propensity for the texture seen in either the original castings, or in the preparation processes.

I'll give yet another set of links for the references.
The closest view here is about two-thirds down the red marked box in the second image.

Appearing about 1.5X original size on the thumbnail, but a 3X view at the image host,

Red box marked area of texture as dimpled or beaded, also 3X and DPI 1647, a large image with good detail if downloaded,

The original image detail, size, and color balance. Difficult to see the texture with shaded 'droplet' shapes. Same size as issued in PIA22954.

This still allows for a surface of 'droplets' of ice formed on the InSIGHT possibly, but it doesn't make sense as a daily buildup over weeks of time.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 98

PostPosted: August 26, 2019 4:08 PM 

Now that the trumpets are blowing for 'The Rolling Stone of Mars'. I have decided to return to the mundane larger rocks around the lander to try to keep pace with the public interest in rocks and gravel. Replies #33, 34, and I believe 36, show a small rock I altered as it was shadowed, then enlarged. I thought it had to be either a piece of lander leg packing or possibly 'Spocks ear'. I was wrong. The larger rock near the cable to the instrument is very similar and appears to be from possibly a single parent rock section.

The full frame is altered and the crop is a 3X enlargement section of it, altered for the highlighted and shaded sections of the rock faces, showing both sequential banding and strong surface textures which match the smaller rock. The colors are altered to be closer to a correct balance but I haven't gotten close to correct color as yet. The saturation was increased 15 points to show some of the differences from reds to more white coloration of the bands.

Sol 257 source image, here altered and 3X,

Full frame altered image enlarged at 3X showing the apparent condensation and textured rock altered withing the image frame. It would be interesting to know if this is a deposit which exists in this appearance for hundreds of miles distance as the geology suggests.

Smaller rock from the prior entries, Sol 138 range,

Possibly these deposits are part of the less dense deep structure of Mars? Offered as a question as it appears to me that the material may cover hundreds of square miles, possibly much more.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 99

PostPosted: August 26, 2019 4:55 PM 

A combination of the Sol 257 rock and the Sol 138 smaller rock, both taken at differing distances so the relative 3X enlarged view is not correct as a size and detail comparison. 3X Color balance was different in each cropped view as well, but a great similarity of the materials from a parent source. Can't wait for a good color view of these in daylight conditions.

If these really are as they appear and are rock flows what would the density be?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 100

PostPosted: August 28, 2019 3:24 PM 

Added a rock from the Sol 257 original images, this one from just under the elevated arm, enlarged to 3X at DPI 1647, showing the repeated layers which are nearly parallel and convoluted in pattern and shaping. It appears this rock is very deficient in material between the layers along the exposed surface indicating it has either been eroded or was missing tough solid mass in a large percentage of the total volume originally.
Some differences in each of the rocks of large size, yet all share common characteristics and patterns, even color similarity.

Sol 257 rock under arm, 3X at DPI 1647.

Another altered view of the larger rock near the SEIS instrument.

Is the local soil a product of the interlayer missing content throughout the area? Is the soil rather a deposition mixed heavily with the wind blown dust from a distance?

Is only a heater source necessary for alteration of the missing material between layers or is the possible condensation not involved in the long term appearance of the local parallel convoluted missing material?

Is a volatile necessary for the vacuous pattern when formed or is this evidence of variation in sections of a single parent rock?

Previous 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Next

Join the conversation:

Very Happy Smile Sad Surprised
Shocked Confused Cool Laughing
Mad Razz Embarassed Crying or Very Sad
Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Wink
Powered by MTSmileys