NASA Curiosity Navigator Drill Bit The inputs lead to the onboard laboratories of the Martian rover. Photo taken at 2068 sol
NASA's Curiosity Rover analyzes the drilled samples on Mars in one of its on-board laboratories for the first time since the breakdown more than a year ago. This is a demonstration of the results of the months of the team. Engineers had to improvise in the search for a new method of drilling Martian rocks. A mechanical problem in December 2016 put the drill down.
On May 20, a new method allowed obtaining the first image, and on May 31, an additional method successfully pushed the ground powder into a rover for processing in the mineralogical laboratory. The processes of drilling and delivery to the laboratory are still being tested. The new technique allows Curiosity to position its drill over two small entrances on top of the rover deck, collecting the required amount of powder for on-board laboratories. This delivery method was successfully tested at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But on Mars, a dry atmosphere ensures other conditions for powder to fall out of the drill.
On the Red Planet will have to check everything visually from the extracted images. If the powder is too low, the laboratory will not be able to analyze. If it is too much, the tool will overflow, and the parts will be clogged. Improvement of technology was possible due to successful testing of the delivery method on May 22