NASA’s InSight Uncovers the ‘Mole’

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — Behold the “mole”: The heat-sensing spike that NASA’s InSight lander deployed on the Martian surface is now visible.

Last week, the spacecraft’s robotic arm successfully removed the support structure of the mole, which has been unable to dig, and placed it to the side. Getting the structure out of the way gives the mission team a view of the mole — and maybe a way to help it dig.


ESA Appoints German Ex-Astronaut as New Director of Human Spaceflight

DLR PR — On 17 March 2011, Thomas Reiter, Executive Board Member responsible for Space Research and Technology at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), was appointed as the Director of Human Spaceflight at the European Space Agency (ESA) for the next four years.

“Thomas Reiter has done an excellent job both as an astronaut and as a member of the DLR Executive Board, and has gained extensive experience for his new role,” said Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Executive Board. “As Director of Human Spaceflight, he will be responsible for a subject area in which Germany is a leader in Europe: the human exploration of space.” Wörner added, “Although the presence of German expertise at ESA is important, we are losing a good friend and colleague on the DLR Executive Board”.