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Mars rover uses drill tool for the first time


Posted on Monday, 4 February, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: NASA

 
Curiosity's latest endeavor is designed to make sure that the complex drilling mechanism is working.

While previous rovers have been able to scrub the surface of rocks, Curiosity is the first to come equipped with tools capable of actually drilling down in to the stone. To check that everything is working as it should, NASA scientists used the drill tool for the first time to hammer in to a flat slab of rock and took photographs of the result. To their relief, so far things appear to be operating correctly.

"The drilling is going very well so far and we're making great progress with the early steps," said project scientist Prof John Grotzinger. "The rock is behaving well and it looks pretty soft, so that's encouraging."

"The Mars rover Curiosity has used its drill system for the first time."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (8)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Frank Merton on 3 February, 2013, 14:18
All these gyrations sure do bring out the difficulties involved when you don't have people there. Look at what it takes just to drill a little way into a hole.
Comment icon #2 Posted by AsteroidX on 3 February, 2013, 14:34
I expected the dust to be redder TBH.
Comment icon #3 Posted by the L on 3 February, 2013, 19:53
I cant wait to see humans on Mars. Maybe discovering ancient civilization on it. And Im sure that one day Mars will be our colony.
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin on 4 February, 2013, 16:28
You know, I read somewhere, perhaps here by Waspie or on NASA's website(not sure) that there is a concern with drilling. Something about the vibration either snapping the drill bit, or vibrating loose some of the rovers electronics. NASA became aware of this, but apparently too late before lift-off, so the engineer's reinforced some of the electrical connections to try and mitigate excessive vibration from causing serious problems. Maybe someone else here can clarify this.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Major Payne on 4 February, 2013, 23:29
The next stage is to use the rotary drill to create a circle of powder (basically powdered rock). Hopefully they can then test this in the chemical analysis chamber in curiosity. This will be a first for any rover on Mars.
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 on 5 February, 2013, 13:24
A self-sustained colony on Mars would be a worthy goal, certainly for the scientific value, but for the sustainment of civilization for that time when the Earth is scourged by pestilence or natural disaster. It would be interesting if the drilling were to identify water. Certainly that would be the impetus to drive manned exploration and colonization.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer on 5 February, 2013, 13:38
Unless we can find a pocket of breathable air inside a Mars mountain, we are talking about a massive undertaking to put a colony on Mars. Fully contained buildings, air generators/scrubbers, etc. Probably similar isssues to underwater labs except possibly needing radiation shielding unstead for protection from ocean pressures.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 February, 2013, 19:36
Weekend Test on Mars Was Preparation to Drill a Rock The bit in the rotary-percussion drill of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity left its mark in a target patch of rock called "John Klein" during a test on the rover's 176th Martian day, or sol (Feb. 2, 2013), in preparation for the first drilling of a rock by the rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS Full image and caption Latest images Curiosity gallery Curiosity videos PASADENA, Calif. - The bit of the rock-sampling drill on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity left its mark on a Martian rock this weekend during brief testing of the tool's per... [More]


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