Sampling Mole (99-02)
The Sampling Mole is a Mole with added capabilities of sampling and backwards hammering. Sampling is performed at the tip: the tip may open then, during further penetration, catches a few grains inside. Retrieval is up to the surface is made via tether pull by a winch and assisted with backward hammering: this additional feature greatly helps the Mole extraction. The Sampling Mole tip, actuated by a manipulator arm, is brought to a port on the Lander for sample delivery and subsequent sample analysis.
Development tests of an engineering model were completed by DLR (D) with consultancy of VNII Transmash (RU).
Left:Sampling Mole, body and hammering mechanism with drawing of section (note sampling cavity in the tip); Right: elements of the sampling system within the tip.
The Sampling Mole successfully developed for ESA became the engineering model of the PLUTO Sampling Mole Mole [http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/beagle/ ]which was mounted on the ill-fated Mars Lander BEAGLE 2. DLR and VNII Transmash completed the qualification of this item for the BEAGLE 2 team.
Last update: 7 May 2014