Curiosity Has Successfully Drilled For The First Ever Sample Of Mars' Virgin Bedrock

Since Curiousity has landed on Mars, it's been roving around finding all manner of... curiosities. Today, it's pulled off an intergalactic first and drilled 6.35cm deep into the red planet's bedrock to obtain a sample. No one — no robot, as ever managed to pull that off before.

6.35cm deep and 1.6cm wide, the hole was drilled into a sample of fine-grained sedimentary bedrock that could hold secrets about Mars' once wet environment. For the next few days, Curiosity will carefully examine the sample and the dust produced by the drilling, beaming its findings back to headquarters here on Earth.

But before Curiosity or any Earth-bound scientests can get a good look at the results, a little of the dust will be used to blast off the internal surfaces of the drill bit assembly to make damn sure there's nothing from Earth to contaminate the Martian sample. After all, this is a pretty big deal. John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate puts it this way:

The most advanced planetary robot ever designed is now a fully operating analytical laboratory on Mars. This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America.

Once collected, powder from the sample will be shuffled over a sieve to get rid of any fragments that are larger than six-thousandths of an inch across. The finer powder will filter on through to the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments that will do the actual analysing.

It's not every day that you drill into the surface of an alien planet with a hulking, multi-million dollar remote control rover for the first time. Here's to hoping we find something good. [NASA]


Comments

    Stupid Americans
    Send the greatest feat of technical engineering millions of Kim's into space and they still have to measure shite in inches (6.35mm equals 2.5 inches)

      Inches is the most appropriate unit of measurement for the science boner Curiosity is giving me.

      I hate to do it, but everyone else on this website does.....
      6.35mm = 1/4"
      That's 0.25 of an inch.

        You do realise it says 6.35centimeters, right? Not millimeters

          I do yes. Pointing out the mistake batman has made.

            Oh yeah... Fair call! Won't even bother editing, lets memorialise my dumbassness

            In fairness I did do the inches conversion.... so maybe more a brain/keypress blank moment??

            Still, dumbass is as dumbass was

              It was in jest I can assure you good sir.

                But of course!! My dumbassness deserves it
                I take as well as I give

    Silly Americans, everyone knows you cant go through bedrock

      Bull..t, Fred and Barney managed it in the foot propelled car going to work everyday.

        Bull...t, the dinosaurs did that... Fred and barney just rode them

        Cartoons, true evidence that creationism exists, as believed by small children

        Last edited 10/02/13 8:49 pm

      Dont worry man, I got the reference, even if the other guys replying to you completely missed it :P

    @thebatman, before you call someone stupid make sure you know the units of measure you are referring to: 6.25 mm = 0.246062992 inches, while 6.25 cm is indeed 2.46062992 inches

      the more decimal places you put on the more stupid you sound....

    Not quite "intergalactic", more "interplanetary"!

    Feet and inches do things, while the kims can only look on!

      Kim Who?

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