According to the recent reports, the Mars Curiosity rover of NASA has again got back to its work of drilling the samples in the rocks present on the surface of the Gale Crater of Mars. The rover was tested on 20th May on a surface rock known as Duluth. The rover worked productively thereby restoring its drilling performance. The Mars Curiosity rover efficiently drilled a pit of near about 0.6 inches broad and 2 inches deep.
Ashwin Vasavada, the project scientist of the Curiosity Rover said, “If all goes well and we can continue drilling, the science team hopes to learn how the ancient climate at Gale crater, and the prospects for life there, changed over time.”
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA at Pasadena in California was examining this effective drilling technique from the time when the Mars’s Curiosity rover broke down with a mechanical issue that took away its drilling ability offline in the month of December in 2016. This technique involved, known as the Feed Extended Drilling helps in keeping the drill elongated past 2 stabilizer posts, which are generally used in keeping the drill steady against the Martian rocks. It allows the Mars Curiosity rover drill effectively with the help of its robotic arm’s strength, which is just like the manner any human being, would generally drill.
The Mars Curiosity rover is presently back in its form and has regained its abilities. The rover now uses its elongated arm for drilling in a freestyle disposition without the help of its two stabilizers. Steve Lee, the Curiosity Deputy Project Manager of JPL, said, “The team used tremendous ingenuity to devise a new drilling technique and implement it on another planet.” Lee added, “Those are two vital inches of innovation from 60 million miles away. We’re thrilled that the result was so successful.”
The technique reportedly works, nevertheless, as per the scientists there are more things to be done. The scientists would need refining the process in which the Curiosity rover produces those dusty Martian rock samples into its 2 internal chemical labs for examination. Tom Green, the mission scientist said, “We’ve been developing this new drilling technique for over a year, but our job isn’t done once a sample has been collected on Mars.” Green further added, “With each new test, we closely examine the data to look for improvements we can make and then head back to our testbed to iterate on the process.”