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ExoLance
Curiosity rover ready to test drill
Posted: Wed, Jan 16, 2013, 6:41 AM ET (1141 GMT)
MSL self-portrait, November 2012 (NASA/JPL) NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is set to test its drill in the coming days on a rock that scientists believe may provide new information on the existence of water on the planet in its past. Scientists have selected a rock dubbed "John Klein", after the late deputy project manager for the mission, as the likely first target for the rover's drill. The drill will collect samples from inside the rock for analysis by the rover's instruments. Scientists said Tuesday that Curiosity is in an area of different terrain than the landing site, featuring rocks with light-colored veins that may be composed of minerals that typically form only in the presence of water. After completing its studies here, it will continue its journey to the base of Mount Sharp, with a goal, but not a hard deadline, of arriving there by the end of the year.
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