The HP³ experiment

Components of HP3
The HP³ experiment
DLR has contributed the HP³ experiment to the NASA InSight mission. HP³ stands for ‘Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package’ and the instrument was developed under the leadership of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research. The thermal conductivity of the material below the landing site and the heat flow from the interior of Mars to the surface will be measured using a penetrometer hammered five metres deep into the Martian regolith. The experiment is designed for an operational life of two Earth years. Essential components of HP3 are the ‘Mole’ and the ribbon cable with the temperature sensors, which the Mole will pull behind it into the ground to perform measurements.