NASA’s Rover, Ready to Drill on Mars
A highly anticipated drilling on Mars is set to happen. NASA’s Curiosity rover is to drill a rock outcrop as flat as a pool table that is expected to make a fresh insight into the red planet’s history. Curiosity rover will soon drill for the first rock sample in an area that NASA scientists call a “candy store” of Martian terrain.
Curiosity was due to arrive at the site in the next days. Richard Cook, a project manager of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that the car-sized rover will test its drill for the first time “probably in the next two weeks.”
The drilling on a Martian rock has been billed as the most complex engineering task since the acrobatic landing inside a Martian crater last summer. The rover is on its quest to determine if environmental conditions could have been favorable for microbes. Project scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology said that “they are thrilled and can’t wait to get drilling.”
Curiosity is a robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL). The $2.5 billion Curiosity mission was launched in 2011. As the most high-tech interplanetary rover, Curiosity has been on a slow streak since its action-packed arrival. Curiosity’s goal is to drive to the base of Mount Sharp. It is a six-month journey to the Red planet without having stops. Grotzinger said the pace of the mission was “100 percent discovery-driven” and can’t be rushed.
It is said that scientist have been captivated by the sedimentary rocks that differ from the pebbles found at the landing site on Mars.