U.S. Rover Curiosity to Drill Into First Martian Rock


The main image is showing a spot picked out for the first drilling site on the martian surface. This image was shot from Curiosity's right mast camera. It shows several fractures and veins in the area. This was shot on the 153rd Martian Day of Curiosity's work which was January 10, 2013.

Mars Science Laboratory project manager Richard Cook stated that "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." He also stated "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."

The above images shows an area called "Shaler" showing layering of the rocks better known as cross-bedding. This image was taken from Curiosity's Mast Camera and shows a centimeter scale to give an idea of the area size.

Yet another image taken by the Mast Camera shows some "Sheepbed" outcroppings. This image however does not give us a measurement scale for size comparison. As is plainly seen in the image, there are whitish veins running through the rocks that are believed to be a form of calcium sulfate.

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