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Weekend test on Mars was preparation to drill a rock

Date:
February 4, 2013
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
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 percussive action.

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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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 percussive action.

The successful activity, called a "drill-on-rock checkout" by the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, is part of a series of tests to prepare for the first drilling in history to collect a sample of rock material on Mars.

An image of the bit mark on the rock target called "John Klein" is available online at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16717 .

Another preparatory test, called "mini drill," will precede the full drilling. The mini drill test will use both the rotary and percussive actions of the drill to generate a ring of rock powder around a hole. This will allow for evaluation of the material to see if it behaves as a dry powder suitable for processing by the rover's sample handling mechanisms.

During a two-year prime mission, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 science instruments to assess whether the study area in Gale Crater on Mars ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl , http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .

You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Weekend test on Mars was preparation to drill a rock." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204190335.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2013, February 4). Weekend test on Mars was preparation to drill a rock. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204190335.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Weekend test on Mars was preparation to drill a rock." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204190335.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

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