BOB, Bob Zimmerman, John Baxter discussed on John Batchelor
Bachelor. This is John Baxter show from the surface of the planet Earth. We're going to the surface of the planet Mars. Bob Zimmerman keeps the website behind the Black and the probe is named Insight. It is a stationary surface probe of Mars a robot It has been a revelation these months of covering insight that what looked to be an air turns out to be a major discovery on the surface of planet Mars. This's where human beings will decamp where they will dig where they will spend their lives and the soil of Mars is a revelation. But now The weather station Baba Very good evening to you Brave little inside. What is its original mission? What is it discovered and one about its weather station? Good evening. I mean, first of all, I A. There's not been many great discoveries from inside. I want to emphasize you mentioned made it sound like it's been doing great, brave little robot doing great things That's been basically A more mohr failure than a success. First of all when it was first proposed. It was supposed to launch. Um, two years earlier. And, ah, the, uh, the basic spacecraft. Landau was built by the U. S. But the instruments are going to be built by the French and the Germans. The French were building the size of a media. Uh, Teo. Ah, sense, uh, earthquakes. They couldn't get the job done, so they had a delight. They had to take the job. Firearm. Take the job away from J P l built size with media. Then delay the mission for two months later, the next launch window. The Germans were building the mall that would drill a drill. What is it? 5 m into the ground. To put a heat sensitive. You get the temperature of Ah maws. Basically, the space craft was designed to look at the interior Voss both both for the earthquakes, tremors and also temperatures. And, uh, so the first instrument the French screwed up on the J P l fixed it hopeful fixed it and the second is some of the Germans They did. The small in the mall has been unable to drill and it's just not working. It's been a failure so far, and I might get it to work. But right now it's a total failure. Now there's a third instrument on this is the weather station. They put this on routinely on every land and rover. They goes to Mars because you know this way you get the the atmosphere's conditions at a different spot each time and so middle of August, they suddenly discovered that it stopped. It was, though it was not collecting data off it, Wass it was not able to transmit the data back to Earth. And so now the weather station is down. It's in safe mode. They hope to get it back up. But it's not working. Um the only thing that has come out of insight so far, which is ah, very small percentage. Of what it was supposed to tell us is that there are small earthquakes on Mars. They tend to be the beginning to get some localization of where they are on the planet. But that's about it. And that's not very much. And so This is not really been a very successful mission. I don't know but a detail Bob the Martian soil, Martian stall behaves oddly, they were not ready for it at first, But first I'll tell you this, All right, You know it's an alien place, so you're going to be surprised by things. But the Germans had designed that mole. Ah, when there's not designing the mall, recognizing that the soil might not be like Earth, and so they designed them all like is if the soil would be like Earth, and they were surprised when it wasn't And you're going to his alien planet. You should be better prepared than that. You should be prepared for. Ah, surprises like that. Better prepared. Have some flexibility. I It seems to me It's not been a good design. I would say this, but yes, this is ah, a side discovery not expected. That the that the soil there has densities and make up and structure that was unexpected. Um, but because of the alias and low gravity, That's not a surprise either job, all right, But when you put a shovel into ah into a hole, you expect the whole to get smaller. And this instance there's reason to believe this. The hole will not only get Stay the same. Same. It will push your shovel out. It will push you back. Well, that's uh, well, yeah, All right. So anyway, let's go on. Let's go to the next curiosity. This is a rover on the surface, and Bob is going to do a rover update soon enough, But right now, curiosity has given us a picture of a dust devil. These are good things, right, Bob. This kept opportunity going long past its eyes expiration date because the dust of was cleared off the solar panels. That's correct. In the case of curiosity, it doesn't really matter. They don't they don't depend on solar power. But still you want. This is getting back to the atmosphere. Trey Tracking Dust Devils tells you a great deal about the Martian atmosphere. Its thickness is its activity. It's changes over the season. Well, you know, so when they curious season sitting at one spot for about A month or two because they're doing drilling at this is in the clay unit. It's going to be their last opportunity to drill in the clay unit, so they haven't been moving recently. And so in the process, they used the cameras to take pictures of the atmosphere of the dust. Of the mountains of the surrounding terrain, and in the process, they captured a stable moving across the horizon, and it was so obvious. They didn't even have to enhance the colors and I posted on behind the black is short, Ah movie that they assembled off this and if you look real close, it's like this ghostly white towel moving from the left to the right just above the darkest band of landscape in the image, and it's very cool, which is actually there you could see it. So this is a planet that has activity in motion and curiosity captures it. Not the first time This has happened, but every time it has, it's just, you know, It's like watching the first stage of a Falcon nine land. You can't get enough of it. It's just really cool. It does look like Casper. The ghost Big Brother. Yes, fine. Now we go to the low lands of Mars. Which is a landscape that's all chopped up. Is this wind erosion? Bob that we're looking here? Dune? I haven't the faintest idea. Okay, well, so the image we're talking about, specifically, it's not a post on behind the black cold cracks and scallops in the lowland plains of Mars and you know, it's a cool image is one of these images I posted The lonely lowland plains of Moss. This is a new area called Utopia Plantation, which is, by the way, the same region that Chinese rover is goingto land infected in next year. These planes have enormous evidence of shallow I most images I take him show blah venous squishing it. Ah, lot of softness flushing it, you get the impression impacts. Some craters and other things that you know there is ice very close to the service. Well, this particularly struck me because it doesn't look like that at all. But that looks more like a hard bedrock. And the scallops are something they think form from the sub elimination of underground ice, converting directly.