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1st Drilling on Mars by NASA's Curiosity Rover (Photos)

End of Curiosity's Extended Arm, Full-Resolution

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This full-resolution image from NASA's Curiosity shows the turret of tools at the end of the rover's extended robotic arm on Aug. 20, 2012. The Navigation Camera captured this view, which shows the rover's drill pointing back along the arm. Image re-released Feb. 20, 2013.

Curiosity's First Sample Drilling

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

At the center of this image from NASA's Curiosity rover is the hole in a rock called "John Klein" where the rover conducted its first sample drilling on Mars. The drilling took place on Feb. 8, 2013, or Sol 182, Curiosity's 182nd Martian day of operations.

Setting the Scene for Curiosity's First Drilling

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

From a position in the shallow "Yellowknife Bay" depression, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its right Mast Camera (Mastcam) to take the telephoto images combined into this panorama of geological diversity. A lip defining the edge of Yellowknife Bay is visible in the middle distance near the center of the image and in the farther distance on the right. The scene is a combination of three mosaics taken on Sols (Martian days) 137, 138, and 141 of Curiosity's work on Mars (Dec. 24, 25 and 28, 2012).

Investigating Curiosity's Drill Area

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to take the images combined into this mosaic of the drill area, called "John Klein." The label "Drill" indicates where the rover ultimately performed its first sample drilling. The scene was imaged on Sol 166, the 166th Martian day of Curiosity's work on Mars (January 23, 2013).

Views of Curiosity's Drill

NASA/JPL-Caltech

These schematic drawings show a top view and a cutaway view of a section of the drill on NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars. The section view on the right also indicates the flow of material within the drill bit. Image released Feb. 20, 2013.

First Curiosity Drilling Sample in the Scoop

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill. The image was obtained by Curiosity's Mast Camera on Feb. 20, or Sol 193, Curiosity's 193rd Martian day of operations.

Sifting Martian Samples

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image shows the location of the 150-micrometer sieve screen on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, a device used to remove larger particles from samples before delivery to science instruments. The sieve lies within the Collection and Handling for In-situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) structure, which is on the end of the rover's turret, or arm. This picture was taken by the rover's Mast Camera on Sol 81, the 81st Martian day of the mission (Oct. 28, 2012). The color has been white-balanced to show the scene as it would appear on Earth.

Preparing Samples on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This figure shows the location of CHIMRA on the turret of NASA's Curiosity rover, together with a cutaway view of the device. The CHIMRA, short for Collection and Handling for In-situ Martian Rock Analysis, processes samples from the rover's scoop or drill and delivers them to science instruments.

Huge Mars Robot Armed With Laser, Cameras, Curiosity (Infographic)

karl Tate, SPACE.com

The nuclear-powered mobile science laboratory Curiosity is roving across the surface of Mars for years, searching for the conditions that may have once made Mars an abode of life. See how NASA's Mars rover Curiosity works in this Space.com infographic.

Martian Rock Zapped

ASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Honeybee Robotics/LANL/CNES

This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows details of rock texture and color in an area where the rover's Dust Removal Tool (DRT) brushed away dust that was on the rock. This rock target, "Wernecke," was brushed on the 169th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's mission on Mars (Jan. 26, 2013). This image was recorded on Sol 173 (Jan. 30, 2013).

Check-up Image After Delivering Martian Rock Powder

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The left Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity took this image of Curiosity's sample-processing and delivery tool just after the tool delivered a portion of powdered rock into the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. The delivery to SAM and subsequent repositioning of CHIMRA to present this side toward Mastcam, were on Sol 196 (Feb. 23, 2013).

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