[meteorite-list] NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 13:58:18 -0700 (PDT)
NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
May 20, 2013
PASADENA, Calif. - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its
robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called
Plans call for delivering portions of the sample in coming days to laboratory
instruments inside the rover. This is only the second time that a sample
has been collected from inside a rock on Mars. The first was Curiosity's
drilling at a target called "John Klein" three months ago. Cumberland
resembles John Klein and lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) farther west.
Both are within a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay."
The hole that Curiosity drilled into Cumberland on May 19 is about 0.6
inch (1.6 centimeters) in diameter and about 2.6 inches (6.6 centimeters)
The science team expects to use analysis of material from Cumberland to
check findings from John Klein. Preliminary findings from analysis of
John Klein rock powder by Curiosity's onboard laboratory instruments indicate
that the location long ago had environmental conditions favorable for
microbial life. The favorable conditions included the key elemental ingredients
for life, an energy gradient that could be exploited by microbes, and
water that was not harshly acidic or briny.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess the
history of habitable environmental conditions inside Gale Crater. After
a few more high-priority observations by the rover within and near Yellowknife
Bay, the rover team plans to start Curiosity on a months-long trek to
the base of a layered mound, Mount Sharp, at the middle of the crater.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena,
manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl ,
ttp://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . You can
follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity
and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov
Received on Mon 20 May 2013 04:58:18 PM PDT