Curiosity Readies for Second Drill

By Andrew Baglini
6/10/2013 8:01:27 AM

Curiosity has been repositioned to a second rock target, where her next drill will take place. The second sample is intended to confirm the results of the first drill, where we found evidence of an ancient environment favorable for microbial life. Like before, Curiosity will drill into the rock and pick up the sample from inside. As the hole is drilled, powder is conveyed up the tube and stored into a chamber in the drill bit assembly.

To move the powder out of the drill bit and into Chimera, the robotic arm is shifted and moved. This utilizes gravity to move the sample rather than relying on moving parts. The sample is first brought into the chambers of the Chimera instrument. From there, the sample is sent into the scoop to take a picture. The sample is then moved through the sieve and into the portion box to create a portion to be analyzed inside of Chimera. That sample is the size of an aspirin.