Curiosity Drills Into Martian Rock For The First Time
For the first time since arriving on the Red Planet in August, NASA's Curiosity rover has drilled into a Martian rock. The drilling was conducted as a test run that was conducted on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, and the first images of the test were beamed back to Earth over the weekend.
Using its robot arm, the Mars rover drilled a few millimeters into flat rock containing hydrated mineral veins in the Yellowknife Basin. While drilling into the rock outcrop, the vibrations removed a layer of rust colored soil, exposing a vein of white material that could be calcium sulfate.
"This area is really rich with all the cracks in the rocks and the veins. It's really fabulous," said Dr. Jim Green, Director of NASA Planetary Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters in an interview with Universe Today. "The landing was an engineering feat that enabled us to do all this great science that comes next."
Drilling into rocks is one of the many experiments the car-sized rover is conducting to determine whether the Martian environment was ever hospitable to microbial life. NASA's previous Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity have successfully scraped at rocks on Mars, but Curiosity is the first equipped with a penetrating drill, as well as sample collecting equipment and analysis instruments. Curiosity is capable of drilling two inches into rock, and will be able to deliver powdered samples half the size of an aspirin tablet back to the SAM and CheMin analytical labs in the rover.
During this test, Curiosity's drill was only used in percussion mode, hammering the rock like a chisel. In upcoming exercises, the rover will use its 5/8 inch wide drill bit to actually bore holes. Soon, the rover will drill into the interior of a Martian rock and collect and analyze the first ever sample of untouched Martian rock material.
SpaceX, NASA's Historic Astronaut Launch in the US Threatened by Disruptive Weather Delay
SpaceX, NASA prepares to send the first Astronaut-manned launch into space from the US in nearly 10 years. Will the weather cooperate with their launch this Wednesday?
Did Elon Musk Just Launch SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Without the Company Logo?
The SpaceX Dragon Capsule has just launched with a flying NASA logo and the American flag. Where is Elon Musk's company logo?
[Fake News] NASA Did NOT Find Evidence of Any Parallel Universe
New sources reveal that NASA did NOT find any concrete evidence that supports the existence of a parallel universe.
Astronomers Show that Stars Make Sounds Similar to a Human Heartbeat
A recent discovery by astronomers found out that the stars actually produce sounds quite similar to the human heartbeat.
NASA's Cassini Captures Photographs Of Saturn's Hexagon Haze Layers; Here's What Researchers Think
See what makes Saturn so unique with its geometrically accurate hexagon weather phenomenon and how it works!
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Want To View Inaccessible Content That's Region Locked? ExpressVPN Is On Sale!
When viewing content online, you may come across content that's not available for you because of your location. A VPN can help you bypass those restrictions!
[Video] SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes Ahead of Upcoming Historic Crewed Rocket Launch
Before the upcoming historic crewed rocket launch by SpaceX's Dragon, the Starship prototype exploded in Texas!
Darkest Dungeon Is Celebrating Its New DLC With A Free Weekend: Here Are Some Tips To Help You Out!
Red Hook Studio's Darkest Dungeon has had a new DLC released on Steam and with it a free weekend. Grab the PvP game and try it out after reading these tips on how you can play the game the best you can.