Feeds

Curiosity Mars rover flashes pics of GREY drilled powder sample

Rock dust could hold key to Mars' wet past

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.