NASA is better at playing the claw game than you will ever be. The space agency is so good, it can win on another planet.
NASA’s InSight lander is equipped with a claw on the end of an arm designed to grasp instruments, lift them up and place them gently on the surface of Mars. The InSight team is now preparing to use the claw to deploy a seismometer that’ll detect marsquakes and meteorite impacts.
NASA posted a nifty GIF on Monday showing the claw and its tenuous-looking cables reaching down to the top of the seismometer, which is mounted on the lander’s deck. The arm will set the seismometer down on the ground and then cover it with a protective shield to guard it against wind and weather.
‘Who knew that practicing the claw game would come in handy for exploring #Mars?’ the InSight team tweeted.
After studying its surroundings, NASA is now angling InSight toward its main science goals, which are focused on studying the interior of Mars to learn more about how rocky planets form. Coming to grips with the seismometer is a key moment for the mission.