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Curiosity drills into Mars for first time

Quit snickering at the headline! It’s interesting stuff.

via Washington Post

The Red Planet is gray underneath.

NASA’s Curiosity rover completed drilling into Mars for the first time this week, mission scientists said Wednesday, smashing rock into fine gray powder for analysis in the coming days.

While the planet’s surface appears barren, the subsurface may prove more interesting, said Joel Hurowitz, a JPL scientist. “Our time capsule in a sense is the rocks themselves,” he said, offering a window on the planet some 4 billion years deep.

Mars’s famous color comes from rusty dust that coats the surface. Getting beneath that layer is “something the science team is really excited about,” said Hurowitz. “We get to see powder that hasn’t been affected by weathering.”

The drilling adds to Curiosity’s accomplishments, making it the first mobile robot to bore into another world. Apollo astronauts used hand drills to peek beneath the surface of the moon, while NASA’s earlier Mars rovers carried only simple tools for scraping rocks.

Read the full article here

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