The HP3 instrument is on Mars


credit: NASA

The HP3 instrument is on Mars – Sonaca Space GmbH was the primary industrial subcontractor for DLR, covering System Engineering, Thermal and Structural analysis, Quality assurance, Configuration Management and AIT/AIV of the instrument.  The team at Sonaca Space GmbH has worked on the project from requirements definition to environmental testing and supported the ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations) activities after delivery to lander integration in the US.

The HP3 instrument consists of a heat flow probe that will dig 5 meters into Mars' surface and perform the first thermal measurements and a radiometer that will measure the surface brightness temperature. The radiometer has already sent first data from Mars; the HP3 instrument is scheduled to be deployed on the surface and start its operations in late January.


The HP3 experiment is a part of NASA InSight mission that was launched in May 2018 and has successfully landed in the Elysium Planitia in November 2018. The mission will study the deep interior surface of Mars in order to understand how rocky planets formed and evolved