Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Curiosity rover to start drilling

Posted: January 21, 2013

Curiosity rover to start drilling

The Curiosity rover is expected to conduct its first drilling in late January or early February. The targeted drilling site is layered bedrock at Yellowknife Bay.

“We are very excited that drilling is starting, after months of preparations,” Professor Nilton Renno, a member of the Mars Science Laboratory team, says.

Curiosity has been on Mars for more than five months, and has been moving through areas thick with sedimentary rocks, spherules and veins.

Yellowknife Bay is different from Gale Crater, the rover’s landing site, according to John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist. “This area had a different type of wet environment than the streambed where we landed, maybe a few different types of wet environments,” he told SpaceRef.

The drill will ingest samples from the bedrock, which it will analyze for information about the rock's mineral and chemical composition.

To learn more about the upcoming drilling, click here.

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