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Curiosity Drills And Scorches Surface Of Mars (Photo)
Curiosity Drills And Scorches Surface Of Mars

Curiosity Drills And Scorches Surface Of Mars (Photo)

One of the clearest photos yet from Nasa’s Mars Curiosity rover shows what lies beneath the surface of the red planet.

The rover drilled through the surface before firing a laser at a series of points inside the hole to analyse the material.

In a photograph released by Nasa – create using eight separate images – piles of dust can be seen surrounding the neat hole.

The camera and spectrometer at the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm examined the texture and composition of the cuttings. The instrument that fires a laser from atop the rover’s mast zapped a series of points inside the hole with sharpshooter accuracy.

The rover team has decided not to drill any other rock target at this waypoint. In coming days, Curiosity will resume driving toward Mount Sharp, the layered mountain at the middle of Mars’ Gale Crater. The rover is carrying with it some of the powdered sample material from Windjana that can be delivered for additional internal laboratory analysis during pauses in the drive.

The mission’s two previous rock-drilling sites, at mudstone targets, yielded evidence last year of an ancient lakebed environment with key chemical elements and a chemical energy source that long ago provided conditions favorable for microbial life.

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, built the rover and manages the project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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