NASA’s Mars Curiosity is experimenting with an improvised new drilling method for the first time with the goal of transforming Mars subsoil samples in a powdery matter in the expectation of better comprehending the Mars subsoil.
Following a year-long break in the drill trails, Curiosity resets drilling rock samples of the Gale crater surface of Mars.
“If all goes well and we can continue drilling, the science team hopes to learn how the ancient climate of the Gale crater and the outlook for life there changed over time,” stated Ashwin Vasavada, a member of the NASA Curiosity Rover mission.
Curiosity’s drilling capabilities were halted in December 2016, as the engine that runs the Curiosity drill became unreliable.
Also, Vasavada admitted that NASA has tried several times to recover the drilling engine of Curiosity but without success. However, since the summer of 2017, NASA focused on developing methods of drilling without involving the use of the Curiosity’s drilling engine.
Engineers managed to innovate a new drilling method, permitting NASA Mars Curiosity Rover to restart drilling rocks on Mars
Luckily, last weekend, NASA trialed the Curiosity’s new drilling technique and managed to penetrate about 2 inches deep into a rock sample dubbed as “Duluth”. The success of this experiment triggered a series of drills.
Feed Extended Drilling, abbreviated FED, is the new drilling method used by NASA Curiosity Rover. FED implies the use of the strength robotic arm of Curiosity to press the drill on the target rock while it’s turning around.
This Friday, on May 25th, NASA Curiosity mission’s team will trial a new procedure for the delivery of the samples to the laboratories of the rover.
As we speak, according to NASA, the Mars Curiosity Rover is now making its way uphill along the Vera Rubin Ridge that is estimated to be loaded with red rocks that are likely to be filled with hematite, an iron dioxide that is only created in the presence of water.
NASA Mars Curiosity Rover has the goal to reach to Mount Sharp, in the region of Gale Crater, which formed about 3.5 billion years ago, when Mars “was losing atmosphere and liquid water”, Ashwin Vasavada said.