Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Curiosity drills hole in Mars rock

Images released by Nasa showed a ring of powder generated by the drill

The Curiosity rover has drilled a test hole in a Martian rock in preparation for the real thing.

Images released by Nasa showed a ring of powder which was generated by the drill at the end of the rover's robotic arm. The hole measured less than an inch deep.

Scientists plan to analyse the latest activity - dubbed a "mini drill test" - before commanding Curiosity to drill deeper.

One of its major tasks is to drill into a rock and transfer the ground-up powder to its onboard laboratories for analysis - a first on Mars.

Curiosity landed in an ancient crater near the Martian equator last year on a mission to gauge whether environmental conditions were favourable for microbes.

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