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NASA's Curiosity rover drills holes into Martian rock in search of water clues

One News Page Staff
Sunday, 10 February 2013

NASA's Curiosity rover drills holes into Martian rock in search of water cluesby

The Mars rover Curiosity has successfully drilled a hole into Martian rock and collected a sample which scientists hope will provide clues about long-gone wet environments

WASHINGTON -- For the first time, the interior of a rock on another world is being examined after NASA's sophisticated Mars rover Curiosity has successfully drilled a hole into Martian rock.

Using a drill at the end of its robotic arm, the $2.5-billion rover bore a 64-mm deep hole into the rock, generating a fine grey powder which the rover's onboard instruments are set to analyze for clues about long-gone wet environments in the Red Planet's past.

"This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America," commented the mission's chief scientist, Prof John Grotizinger.

Previous Mars rover missions had revealed evidence that water rivers once flowed on the planet. Curiosity's on-board laboratory is now set to determine the rock sample's precise chemistry and mineralogy which may provide further proof of the Martian wet past.

Image credit: MSSS/Caltech/NASA
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Source: Newsy.com - on February 9, 2013

News video: Mars Curiosity Rover Succesfully Completes Drill Test

Mars Curiosity Rover Succesfully Completes Drill Test

Earlier this week the 1-ton robot tested its drill for the first time by digging nearly one inch into the Martian surface. This so-called “mini-dril

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