Mars’s Curiosity to Test New Drilling Strategies


A mechanical issue thumped Curiosity’s drill, which sits toward the finish of the rover’s 7-foot-long (or 2 meters) mechanical arm, out for the count in late 2016. Mission colleagues have been considering approaches to recover the drill online ever since, and they intend to test a promising workaround this end of the week.

Engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, are tweaking a method called feed extended drilling (FED), which enables Curiosity to drill in a route like how a human may do it. Curiosity will utilize the power of its arm to push forward into the Red Planet rocks, as the drill bit spins. What’s more, FED will enable Curiosity to apply a hammering power too, as NASA officials said.

This hammering was vital to Curiosity’s unique drilling system, enabling the rover to bore 2.5 inches (or 6.4 centimeters) into rocks

Curiosity will test the new system, with the percussion segment, on Saturday night, the 19th of May, as the team members said. The subsequent information will enable engineers to improve the drilling strategy throughout the following couple of months, the group said.

This is their next big test to reestablish drilling nearer to the way it worked previously, as Steven Lee, Curiosity agent venture chief at JPL, said in an announcement. In view of how it performs, they can adjust the procedure, attempting things like expanding the measure of power they apply while drilling.

In the event that the new strategy enables Curiosity to catch a piece of powdered-rock, the engineering group will promptly start testing another procedure for delivering that example to the rover’s internal labs, as NASA officials said.

Curiosity has been consistently climbing the lower regions of the 3.5-mile high (or 5.5 kilometers) Mount Sharp since September 2014, looking at the stones for signs about how and when Mars’ atmosphere changed long ago. Such perceptions are vital to the rover’s main goal, which includes evaluating the Red Planet’s past potential to support life


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