Polish robot Kret will fly to Mars as part of NASA InSight mission in 2018 – said on Wednesday Dr. Jerzy Grygorczuk, VP of Astronika. Kret will be the first complete system provided by the Polish industry for such an important mission.
Polish company Astronika is the manufacturer of the robot that will dig into the surface of Mars and examine the properties of the Martian soil. The InSight mission, as part of which Kret will fly to Mars, is expected to last two Earth years.
“This is a success for Polish scientists. They are ready and competent to work with the world’s largest space agencies and to provide complex services” – emphasized Deputy Minister of Development Jadwiga Emilewicz.
Kret will go to Mars on a lander. A special robot arm will move it from the deck of the lander directly to the surface of the Red Planet. “Then it will start drilling. It will be in stages – not immediately to the depth of 5 meters. Every half meter it will take measurements. Kret will drag a 5-6 meter tail in the form of a tape which will be rolled into a tube in the opening made by the robot. It is equipped with a number of thermal sensors so that we can measure the thermal profile of the soil to the depth of 5 m. In addition, thermal conductivity gives information about the porosity of the soil and other physical properties. The purpose of all this is to find out how the Martian core works. The work of Mars’s core and its size is still unknown” – explained Jerzy Grygorczuk, VP of Astronika.