Curiosity Drills into Second Mars Rock1 min read

Msl20110602 PIA14175-full

Msl20110602 PIA14175-full (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has drilled into another rock and plans are afoot to deliver a second sample of the pulverized material to laboratory instruments on board the rover.

The new rock called “Cumberland” is in the “Yellowknife Bay” depression that the six-wheeled robot has been studying. Three months ago, Curiosity bored into a similar rock called “John Klein” roughly 9 feet (2.75 meters) away.

During the first sample analysis, data collected by Curiosity suggested that the area once had the environmental conditions favorable to support microbial life. These data further support the idea that Gale Crater was once wet and minerals formed in the presence of water.

Although the rover cannot directly search for evidence of past or present life on Mars, it has deduced that the ancient wet environment wasn’t too acidic or briny, factors that are considered to be microbe-friendly. It also analyzed the chemical composition of the ancient rock, finding sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon — all key ingredients that support life as we know it.

The second hole, which Curiosity drilled on May 19, is 2.6 inches (6.6 centimeters) deep and 0.6 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide, pictured top.

By taking a second sample from a rock with similar features as John Klein, mission scientists hope to cross-check chemical analysis of both locations to see if the results tally.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Source: Discovery News

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
SHARE THIS POST
Love
Haha
Wow
Sad
Angry
Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Astronaut.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!