Curiosity rover

Engineers develop a whole new way to use curiosity’s drill after a recent hardware failure

Engineers develop a whole new way to use curiosity’s drill after a recent hardware failure

Since it landed on Mars in 2012, the Curiosity rover has used its drill to gather samples from a total of 15 sites. These samples are then deposited into two of Curiosity’s laboratory instruments – the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) or the Chemistry and Mineralogy X-ray Diffraction (CheMin) instrument – where they are examined to tell us more about the Red Planet’s history and evolution.

Curiosity's Drill Hole and Location are Picture Perfect

Curiosity's Drill Hole and Location are Picture Perfect

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover drilled its eighth hole on Mars, and its fifth since reaching Mount Sharp one year ago. The drilling of the hole 2.6-inches (65 millimeters) deep in a rock the team labeled "Big Sky" is part of a multi-day, multi-step sequence that will result in the analysis of the Martian rock's ingredients in the rover's two onboard laboratories - the Chemistry and Mineralogy X-Ray diffractometer (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite.