Feb 18, 2013

Curiosity begins digging for water in Martian soil [News]

After six months in the Martian soil, the Curiosity robot finally started drilling and analysis of r...


After six months in the Martian soil, the Curiosity robot finally started drilling and analysis of rocks on Mars. On Saturday morning (09/02/2013), NASA released an image into a Twitter account dedicated exclusively to the mission. The picture showed a small hole on the Martian surface, measuring about 1.60 cm in diameter and 6.35 inches deep. The site chosen for the mission was the Gale Crater, since images suggest that once housed its surface water at some point.

Curiosity-begins-digging-for-water-in-Martian-soil-[News]

We'll take the powder we acquired and swish it around to scrub the internal surfaces of the drill bit assembly, then we'll use the arm to transfer the powder out of the drill into the scoop, which will be our first chance to see the acquired sample.
- Scott McCloskey, drill systems engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena

The review process should begin in the next few days, however, the work is very intense and can take time, since the process includes a series of procedures to ensure that the samples in contact with the robot were not contaminated with organisms sent from Earth. Along with the augmented existence of water, the study aims to provide answers about possible lives that have already gone through the Gale Crater.

[Via]

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