Curiosity Mars Rover on its six month celebration day on Mars (last Friday) drilled a hole in the Martian surface. It is the first time in the human space history that a robot rover drills a hole on the surface of Mars:
On Friday, Curiosity celebrated six months on the Mars by drilling a hole in the surface – marking the first time that any hole had been drilled into the Martian surface. The rock Curiosity drilled, nicknamed “John Klein” in honor of a project manager who died in 2011, was selected because scientists on the project believed that it holds a chance to find new evidence about what the Martian surface was like back when it had water. To find this evidence, powdered rock created by the drilling will be analyzed by Curiosity. “We commanded the first full-depth drilling, and we believe we have collected sufficient material from the rock to meet our objectives of hardware cleaning and sample drop-off,” drill cognizant engineer Avi Okon in a NASA press release. The hole that was drilled is a little under two-thirds of an inch in diameter, and is two and a half inches deep. Over the next few days, Curiosity’s controllers will start to process the sample collected. Some of the powder will be used to scour the instruments to make sure no remnants from Curiosity are in the sample. Then the sample will go through the rover’s Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device.
The rock sample and its analysis is of major scientific importance as NASA searches for a possible long-gone wet environment on Mars:
Nasa’s rover Curiosity becomes first ever robot to drill a hole in Mars for … – Daily Mail
For the first time, NASA’s rover Curiosity used its on-board drill to collect a sample of Martian bedrock that might offer evidence of a long-gone wet environment, the U.S. space agency said last night. Drilling down 2.5 inches – 6.4 cm – into a patch of sedimentary bedrock, Curiosity collected the rock powder left by the drill and will analyze it using its own laboratory instruments, NASA said in a statement. This is the first time a robot has drilled to collect a Martian sample. As images from the drilling operation streamed to Earth, some team members shared their excitement on social media.The ‘full drill hole was a success! I’m sure it was LOUD and they heard the drilling action for MILES!’ tweeted rover driver Paolo Bellutta. Curiosity drilled into a rock named John Klein’ after a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011.
The Mars Rover used its arm-mounted drill to make the hole on the Martian surface:
Curiosity Rover Drills Into Mars Rock, Collects Sample – A Space First – Space.com
NASA’s Curiosity rover has drilled into a Martian rock and collected samples, marking the first time any robot has ever performed this complicated maneuver on the surface of another planet. The 1-ton Curiosity rover used its arm-mounted drill to bore a hole 0.63 inches (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) deep in a section of sedimentary bedrock on Friday (Feb. 8). The activity paves the way for the first-ever analysis of fresh Martian subsurface material and provides the last major checkout of the robot’s gear and instruments, researchers said. ”The most advanced planetary robot ever designed now is a fully operating analytical laboratory on Mars,” John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement. “This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America.”
NASA said that Curiosity achieved its biggest milestone since its Martian landing last August:
Nasa’s Curiosity Mars rover has finally drilled deep enough into a rock to acquire a powdered sample for analysis. The fine grey tailings from the 6cm-hole will be sieved and inspected before being delivered to the robot’s onboard labs in the coming days. It will represent a historic first in planetary exploration – never before has the interior of a rock on another world been probed in such a way. The US space agency said the drilling was an immense achievement. ”This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America,” said Prof John Grotizinger, the mission’s chief scientist. Drilling is absolutely central to the rover’s mission in Gale Crater, a deep bowl sited on Mars’ equator.
It is not doubt that the Curiosity mission on Mars and its achievements till now, are the products of systematic innovation and science by taking advantage of the current and future technology evolution:
The NASA mission that had the nation holding its breath as it tested an ingenious but never-before-used landing technique, and continues to amaze with new discoveries about Mars has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Space Foundation’s John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory project is using the rover Curiosity to investigate whether the study area within Gale Crater has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.”We are recognizing the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission team for its aggressive and technologically advanced exploration of another planet,” said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham. “This incredible mission will yield valuable science about conditions on Mars and enable critical technologies for future missions.” The award is given annually to the person or organization that has made the most significant accomplishment in advancing the exploration of space during the previous year. It will be presented April 8 during the opening ceremony of the 29th National Space Symposium at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. The John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration honors NASA Apollo astronaut Jack Swigert. The Space Foundation, founded in 1983 in part to honor Swigert’s memory, created the Swigert Award in 2004 in tribute to his lasting legacy of space exploration. Previous recipients include NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander Team, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the California Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover team from JPL, President George W. Bush, the LCROSS mission and, in 2012, NASA’s Kepler Mission.
Finally, we all have the sense that Curiosity has much to do on Mars, till its mission ends…