Feeds

Curiosity Mars rover flashes pics of GREY drilled powder sample

Rock dust could hold key to Mars' wet past

Security for virtualized datacentres

Mars rover Curiosity has beamed back pics of what lies beneath the surface of the Red Planet, whose rosy complexion turns out to be just skin-deep.

First Curiosity drilling sample in the scoop

The sample drilled out of Martian rock by the mobile science lab appears to be a blue-grey powder, visible in the robot arm's open scoop.

"Seeing the powder from the drill in the scoop allows us to verify for the first time the drill collected a sample as it bore into the rock," said JPL's Scott McCloskey, drill systems engineer for Curiosity.

"Many of us have been working toward this day for years. Getting final confirmation of successful drilling is incredibly gratifying. For the sampling team, this is the equivalent of the landing team going crazy after the successful touchdown."

Curiosity bored into the planet nearly two weeks ago, making a 2.5-inch (6.4cm) hole in the Martian bedrock, the first time any rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth.

The resulting sample is sitting in the scoop of the rover's Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device. The next step is to enclose the powder inside CHIMRA and shake it up once or twice over a sieve to take out particles larger than 0.006 of an inch (150 microns) across. Then portions of the samples will be delivered into the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments for analysis.

The sample comes from a fine-grained, veiny sedimentary rock, named "John Klein" in honour of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. The rock was chosen because it could hold evidence of wet environmental conditions on ancient Mars. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.