Mars rover Curiosity turns drill in rock for 3rd time
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 13:51
  
Zee Media Bureau

London: NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will be deploying its rock drill for the third time.

New pictures sent back to Earth show Curiosity has found a Martian sandstone slab, namely "Windjana", which is a good spot to drill deeper into the Red Planet. Curiosity used Dust Removal Tool to clear away dust from a 6-centimetre-across patch on the rock.

It is almost a year since Curiosity last used its drill on the Martian surface.

Before Curiosity drills deeply enough to collect rock-powder sample, there will be a preparatory "mini-drill" operation on the target as a further check for readiness, NASA said.

Curiosity's drill collects powered sample material from the interior of a target rock for analysis.

The only two rocks previously drilled by Curiosity are even finer-grained mudstone in Yellowknife Bay, about 4 kilometres northeast of the rover's current location at a waypoint called "The Kimberley”. Those two targets, examined in 2013, provided evidence of an ancient lakebed environment from billions of years ago with conditions favourable for microbial life.

(With Agency inputs)


First Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 09:26


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