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Curiosity Rover Drills Into Mars Rock

posted 10 Feb 2013, 08:39 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Feb 2013, 08:40 ]

NASA releases a photograph of the Curiosity rover's first drill into a rock.

Two other photographs are released of NASA's "mini test" before the drill.

MARS  (REUTERS/NASA/HANDOUT) - On the planet Mars, for the first time, the Curiosity rover drilled into a rock and collected a sample, said NASA in a statement.

Two images obtained by Reuters on Saturday (February 9) show the rover's robotic arm and the hole drilled into a rock. The photograph of the rover was taken by NASA on February 3. The photograph of the hole was taken by NASA on February 8.

This is the first time a robot has drilled into a rock on Mars and collected a sample.

Images of the hole, about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) deep, were beamed to Earth on Saturday.

The rock is believed to hold proof that there was once water on Mars.

Earlier in the week, NASA released two images of a "mini drill test" performed on February 6 ahead of Friday's first full drill.

According NASA, the rock is called the "John Klein". It was named after a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011.