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Curiosity collects first Martian bedrock sample with drill
Posted: Sun, Feb 10, 2013, 9:21 AM ET (1421 GMT)
MSL first drill hole, Feb 2013 (NASA/JPL) A little over six months after landing on the surface of Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover has collected its first sample of Martian bedrock. obtained by the rover's drill, NASA announced Saturday. Curiosity bored a hole about 1.6 centimeters in diameter and 6.4 centimeters deep into Martian bedrock, collecting a sample of powered rock. Scientists plan to analyze the sample with instruments on the rover to better understand wet environments that existed on the planet's surface early in its history. The drilling was the first time any spacecraft has drilled into the Martian surface to collect a sample; Curiosity tested the drill on a nearby portion of the same rock a few days earlier. The drill was the last of the rover's major pieces of equipment to be tested after its landing in August in Gale Crater.
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