360° Coverage : Mars rover to drill into Martian rock

1 Updates
Mars rover to drill into Martian rockCuriosity
Photo Credit: NASA

Mars rover to drill into Martian rock

Feb 11 2013, 2:20pm CST | by

Curiosity may have killed the cat, with the Mars rover bearing that name preparing to satisfy the curiosity of NASA scientists by drilling into a rock to determine whether the red planet may have at one time had liquid water – a suitable environment for microbial life.

PASADENA, Calif. – Curiosity, NASA's Mars rover, is certainly living up to its name, as it heads for a flat rock with pale veins that may be a sign of a wet history on the red planet. NASA said the...

Filed under: news

YouTube Videos

 
 
 

1 year ago

Mars rover to drill into Martian rock

Feb 11 2013, 2:20pm CST | by

Curiosity may have killed the cat, with the Mars rover bearing that name preparing to satisfy the curiosity of NASA scientists by drilling into a rock to determine whether the red planet may have at one time had liquid water – a suitable environment for microbial life.

PASADENA, Calif. – Curiosity, NASA's Mars rover, is certainly living up to its name, as it heads for a flat rock with pale veins that may be a sign of a wet history on the red planet.

NASA said the car-sized rover is currently located inside Mars' Gale Crater to investigate the possibility that at one time in its history the environment on Mars may have been amenable for microbial life. Curiosity landed in the crater five months ago to begin a two-year prime mission.

“Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be this mission's most challenging activity since the landing. It has never been done on Mars,” said Mars Science Laboratory project manager Richard Cook of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “The drill hardware interacts energetically with Martian material we don't control. We won't be surprised if some steps in the process don't go exactly as planned the first time through.”

Curiosity will first gather powdered samples from inside the rock and use those samples to scrub the drill. Next the rover will drill ingest more samples from the rock, which will be analyzed for mineral and chemical composition.

The rock was chosen from an area where the rover's Mast Camera and other cameras have revealed diverse unexpected features, including veins, nodules, cross-bedded layering, a lustrous pebble embedded in sandstone and possibly some holes in the ground.

The rock chosen for drilling is called “John Klein” in tribute to former Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager John W. Klein, who died in 2011. “John's leadership skill played a crucial role in making Curiosity a reality,” said Cook.

The target is on flat-lying bedrock within a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay.” The terrain in this area differs from that of the landing site, a dry streambed about a third of a mile (about 500 meters) to the west. Curiosity's science team decided to look there for a first drilling target because orbital observations showed fractured ground that cools more slowly each night than nearby terrain types do.



Via NASA.

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/19" rel="author">Jeffrey B. Roth</a>
A multi-award winning writer, Jeffrey B. Roth is a well-known investigative reporter, who covers crime, law, politics, sciences, business, medicine, education, history and a wide range of other topics. In 2010, Roth won first place for a new series in the Keystone Press Awards, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. A published short story writer and poet, Roth is listed in the Locus Index of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. Currently, Roth writes for CBS Philadelphia, CBS Baltimore, the Philadelphia Examiner and regional publications, including Carroll Magazine, Carroll Business Quarterly and Hagerstown Magazine to name a few. In the past, Roth, a former crisis intervention counselor and teacher, has written for numerous Pennsylvania newspapers, state and national magazines and the Associated Press. He lives in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, west of Gettysburg, Pa.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Britons seek fewer work hours as longer hours injurious to health
London, Nov 28 (IANS) With recent research showing that long working hours can make us ill and ineffective, one in 10 Britons would like to work fewer hours, says a new Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey.
 
 
Iranian woman dances without hijab defying country's laws
Tehran, Nov 28 (IANS) An Iranian woman has defied the country's ultra-restrictive laws by dancing publicly without her hijab (veil), and what is more, it was filmed and posted on social media.
 
 
17th century Polish 'vampire' graves found
London, Nov 28 (IANS) Potential "vampires" in 17th-18th century Poland were buried with rocks and sickles across their bodies to ward off evil, scientists have discovered.
 
 
Human-induced nitrogen pollution big threat to ocean
London, Nov 28 (IANS) Human activity, particularly in industrial and agricultural processes, has had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle, a new study warns.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Apple Black Friday Sale Released
The Apple Black Friday 2014 Sale has launched online at the Apple Store. Apple has announced a huge charity promotion to fight AIDS for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Apple will donate a portion of the sales the company...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
A look at Black Friday video game deals
All major retailers will be getting in the video game Black Friday spirit. PS4 and XBox One will certainly be two consoles that should garner huge sales but actual games should do good as well. One thing that is for...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Comics looking for event filled Black Friday
While video games and other electronic gadgets look to be the big draw on deals during Black Friday, comic book readers and fans will be able to find their fair share of deals as well. It has been announced that two...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Anna Kendrick positive after nude photo leak
Anna Kendrick is looking at the positives following the recent hacking of her nude photos. The 'Pitch Perfect' star - whose naked pictures were posted online by hackers earlier this year alongside other stars like...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Benedict Cumberbatch hates selfies
Benedict Cumberbatch hates selfies. The 'Imitation Game' actor - who recently announced his engagement to Sophie Hunter - won't be personally taking any photos of him and his bride on their wedding day and instead would...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
James Franco filmed threesome with Zachary Quinto
James Franco and Zachary Quinto filmed a threesome for their new film 'Michael'. The actors took part in the sexy scene alongside the former 'Desperate Housewives' star Charlie Carver for the upcoming drama, according...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
UN condemns attack on British embassy vehicle
United Nations, Nov 28 (IANS) The UN Security Council (UNSC) has condemned the attack on a British embassy vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan. "The members of the UNSC expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Not all mosquitoes can transmit malaria
New York, Nov 28 (IANS) A genetic study has revealed that certain species of mosquitoes have evolved to better transmit malaria than even some of their close cousins. The study may advance understanding about the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Rio judge ends Olympic golf course impasse
Rio de Janeiro, Nov 28 (IANS) A Rio de Janeiro judge has rejected a request by public prosecutors to suspend an environmental permit for work on the 2016 Olympic golf course. Judge Eduardo Antonio Klausner said there...
Read more on Sport Balla