Reply to post: Mole?

Diggerland comes to Mars as boffins battle to save InSight's mole

Andy The Hat Silver badge


Moles are little and burrow by digging with big claws - that's how they get rid of stones and other minor obstructions. (there's a good description by Hills in The Great Escape!) If they hit an immovable obstruction they simply dig around/over/under it ...

Pile drivers use percussion to sink into the ground - big, massive percussion for a relatively small cross-section pile. On occasion they get stuck because they can't move or break through an obstruction at which point they retract the pile (if possible, otherwise they cut it off) and start again.

A screw type piler can clear waste better but can still get stuck even though it has hundreds of Hp behind it -at which point it retracts the drill and starts again.

Now, the only one in this list that works 100% reliably is the mole. The only one in this list that has no resemblance to the design on Mars is ...? Of course the lander could retract the impactor, move and try again ... oh, it's not designed to do that ...

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