Curiosity rover drills into Martian rock, appears for extra proof of water
NASA scientists will not have to attend till InSight’s 2016 drilling mission to see what lies beneath the floor of Mars — Curiosity is already on the case. After creating a style for Martian soil late final yr, the intrepid rover has began exploring the pink planet’s bedrock, drilling a zero.sixty three inch (1.6 cm) large gap 2.5 inches (6.four cm) deep into Mars’ floor. Curiosity will spend the subsequent a number of days analyzing the ensuing powder in hopes of discovering proof of a as soon as-moist planet. The shallow gap marks the primary drilling operation ever carried out on Mars, and getting there wasn’t straightforward. “Constructing a software to work together forcefully with unpredictable rocks on Mars required an formidable improvement and testing program,” defined Louise Jandura, the chief engineer of the rover’s pattern system. “To get to the purpose of creating this gap in a rock on Mars we made eight drills and bored greater than 1,200 holes in 20 forms of rock on Earth.” The Rover examined its drill by making a shallower gap earlier this month, although samples will solely be used from the second, deeper cavity. Take a look at the supply hyperlink for extra photographs of the operation, together with an animated GIF of the drill in motion.