Next time you feel embarrassed when you can’t fix something yourself, remember that even NASA scientists resort to hitting a a device when all else fails.
NASA’s InSight Lander, which is currently on the surface of Mars, has begun experiencing technical difficulties during its exploration mission to understand how similar Mars’ core is to that of earth.
Since the soil on Mars is clumpier than scientists expected, a digging probe similar to a jackhammer got stuck, according to Popular Science.
After several attempts to fix the Lander failed, NASA had to think outside the box. They were able to free the probe by commanding it to hit itself with InSight’s shovel.
The NASA probe, appropriately named “the mole,” was supposed to dig its way through the sand-like terrain, but because the soil was so clumpy (that’s NASA scientist lingo for “solid”) the whole device got stuck in place.
After a few months of practice and training, engineers were able to successfully program InSight’s robotic arm to land down on the mole in a last-resort maneuver and give it a good whack to free it from the clumpy soil.