If you have an hour, the drilling team gives a presentation and a Q and A. They explain the significance of the first non-Earth drilling.
They’ve driven the Rover over to a flat area of rocks they call ‘John Klein,’ in a depressed region called ‘Yellowknife Bay,’ beyond Glenelg which was originally a target point from the landing site. There’s a group of likely fine-grained (siltstone or mudstone?) rocks on the Martian ground. They’ve photographed white veins in the rocks amongst other features, and used the ChemCam to determine the veins are probably a calcium sulfate, which forms on Earth usually due to water percolating through rocks, but they’re still doing analysis.
They’re now using the drill for the first time, doing a test drill of 2 centimeters, and then drilled 6 centimeters down into these flat ‘river’-looking rocks in John Klein. The Rover scooped up the material and it’s gray in color, as at the surface has been exposed to iron oxidation.
You can download these photos or view them a slideshow, and the Rover team keeps updating them with each new tool they use and each new location they move the Rover. You can track the whole mission that way in photos with captions explaining what’s going on.
Here’s animation of how the drill works (follow that link for all video updates).
Could Mars have once harbored life?
Related On This Site: Via The Mars Science Laboratory At NASA: ”Mount Sharp’ On Mars Links Geology’s Past And Future’…Via Youtube: ‘The Challenges Of Getting To Mars: Selecting A Landing Site
NASA Via Youtube: December 21st, 2012 Mars Curiosity Rover Report
NASA Via Youtube: ‘The Martians: Launching Curiosity To Mars’…NASA Via Youtube: ‘Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) Mission Animation…