Drilling Success: Curiosity is Collecting Mars Rocks

Drilling success copyNASA’s Curiosity rover successfully drilled a hole 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) deep in a target called “Duluth” on May 20, 2018. The hole is about 0.6 inches (1.6 centimeters) across. It was the first rock sample captured by the drill since October 2016. A mechanical issue took the drill offline in December 2016. This image was taken by Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 2057. It has been white balanced and contrast-enhanced.

The Curiosity rover successfully drilled a hole in a Martian rock for the first time in over a year and a half. Engineers had to devise the new technique after a mechanical fault in December 2016 disabled Curiosity’s drill.  Without the drill, samples of fine rock powder (generated by drilling) could not be analyzed by the two chemical and mineralogical laboratories onboard Curiosity.  Engineers are now working to test a new method of delivering the drilled powder into these laboratories. READ MORE »