Mars Rover gets ready to begin its new year by drilling Martian rocks
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Mars Rover gets ready to begin its new year by drilling Martian rocks

Cape Canaveral : FL : USA | Jan 06, 2013 at 4:46 AM PST
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The left eye of the Mast Camera on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity took this image of the camera on the rover's arm

NASA's Mars Rover is getting ready to embark on one of its most important missions of the New Year 2013 - namely, search for water and signs of life on the Red Planet, the BBC reported..

It would have to drill through the Martian rocks and send up samples to its on-board lab for analysis.

Till now, Curiosity has traveled 650-meters from where it had landed on Mars and is now in a depression called the Yellowknife Bay – it is there to select one of the largest rocks to begin its exploration.

Its drill will retrieve samples in the powdered form from 5-cm within its surface – these samples are expected to be quite different to the samples that had, till now, been retrieved from the upper layers or crusts.

One of the reasons for zeroing in on the Yellowknife Bay is because it looks to be a different type of rock terrain as compared to the rocky terrain where Curiosity had landed in August 2012.

The NASA scientists are understandably excited because the rocks in the Yellowknife could be 3 to 3.5-billion years old and could take the exploration right to the core structure of the planet Mars.

The results of this analysis could become a stepping stone to bigger things, to understanding the planet better.

What this analysis would finally reveal could pave the way for carrying out further experiments and for planning the future course of action.

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prabirghose is based in Nāshik, Maharashtra, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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