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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Curiosity rover uses robotic arm to drill into Martian rock

 Ground control will now use the rover's robotic arm to collect samples for processing in its self contained laboratory, looking for evidence Mars may have once harbored water.

The agency released a photo of the hole captured by Curiosity, and in a press release NASA's associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld said, "The most advanced planetary robot ever designed is now a fully operating analytical laboratory on Mars."

The first full-depth drilling generated rock powder that traveled up flutes in the bit and were held by chambers in the assembly for processing. Before the dust can be analysed, a portion of it will be used to clean the assembly, scouring away any potential contamination from Earth bound surfaces.