NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Discovered A Rock That’s Too Hard To Drill


Earlier this year, NASA’s Curiosity rover was able to overcome a motor glitch to drill into rocks on Mars and this was seen as a triumph by everybody.

The drilling operations were also faced with another issue this week when the rover met a particularly hard to crack rock.

It seems that the rover Curiosity touched its drill down on a target that was named Voyageurs which is an interesting-looking rock in the Gale Crater.

The drill worked just fine until one moment when Curiosity was not able to go any further, the rover could not get deep enough into the rock in order to generate enough amount of material for collecting it to get some viable results after a proper analysis.

“All evidence suggests that this rock target is one of the hardest yet observed in Gale crater,” Curiosity team member Mark Salvatore wrote in a mission update from Tuesday.

Lots of questions appear regarding the rover’s location on the Vera Rubin Ridge

The rock’s geology raises lots of questions about Curiosity’s current location on the Vera Rubin Ridge.

The team member is currently wondering whether the hardness of this particular rock could be due to some changes in the water’s chemistry as these sedimentary rocks were deposited.

Curiosity was able a while ago to successfully drill into a rock named Duluth back in May.

There were no problems back then and the drilling procedure generated sufficient material to test it.

The rover moved on since Duluth and now it’s able to explore an area which is full of harder rocks.

The science team will have to investigate more in order to see whether Voyageurs is an example of how the entire landscape is in that area.

Salvatore describes that the drilling impediment is quite disappointing but he also made sure to state that he’s lucky to be working with such great scientists and engineers who “can collectively turn a frustrating sigh into a gasp of excitement as we think about our next observations and what more we have to learn about this interesting and foreign environment.”


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