Mars Lander Jams . . . So NASA Orders It To Hit Itself With A Shovel

It appears that NASA follows the same principle of many homeowners that the last resort for any stuck machine is to give it a good kick. In the case of the NASA InSight Mars lander, the solution was to order the lander to literally hit itself with its own shovel. It worked.

The problem was the digging probe used to go below the surface. It turns out that Mars soil is clumpier than anticipated. So, as reported in Popular Science, the lander was told to hit itself.

Good to know that all of us are equipped to repair an $850 million machine 301 million miles away.

24 thoughts on “Mars Lander Jams . . . So NASA Orders It To Hit Itself With A Shovel”

  1. During an Apollo mission, a video camera stopped sending video back to Earth. A little hurried discussion off the mikes between NASA Flight Control and various defense contractor tech-reps later. and Flight Control told the Apollo crew “Hit it. Kick it.” the signal came back, and ever since then this method of repairing avionics became known as “percussive maintenance.

  2. I have a loose connector in my car on my AC knob. Hitting the dash works like a charm.

    Sometimes that’s the easiest solution.

  3. Of course. Lander hits itself with a shovel. Computer reboots by unplugging it. Covid 19 response is to withdraw from society. I totally get it. Strategy often boils down to kicking something over and beginning again.

    Totally. Trick is to realize we’re not on the decision committee. ha.

  4. I’m always curious – 310 million miles away, isolated, seemingly alone and yet somehow, someway, a photo (with amazing clarity – at least rivaling my earthly android quality) has been taken. Based on perspective and vanishing points, it is undoubtedly the worlds longest selfie. I also recommend cruising around a little, finding a more attractive location, less barren with more water and trees. If a Martian exploring rover landed in the Sahara – what would they think?

  5. Professor…..Thank you for the much needed levity!

    If mechanical glitches at home and abroad would try the shovel remedy, we’d benefit greatly from the cost effective outcomes.

    Next up: I propose that all nations contemplating going to war, engage in tickle/ pillow fights instead! 🤠

      1. 🙂 On this planet, If the only tool you have is a shovel, every problem looks like President Trump? Democrats haven’t figured out the 1st Law of Holes, however.

  6. Clearly some of the usual suspects dislike this story because there is no way to blame the lander’s problem on Trump.

  7. lol – all the people freaking out about this article…
    Why don’t you all hit yourselves with a shovel.

    I enjoyed it.

  8. Huh? What is this topic about? Put a cork in it. That is what the girls at the cathouses say when one cuts a fart.

  9. Hitting my old TV or computer has often fixed the problem. Of course, this comes right after turning it off and on again.

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