Mars Rover Drills Into Planet for First Time

Curiosity's successful test paves way for bigger projects

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 8, 2013 5:46 PM CST

(Newser) – NASA's Mars rover has busted out a new tool to pry into the planet's secrets. Curiosity used a drill at the top of one of its arms to make a small hole in Martian rock, reports LiveScience. It was just a test, the first of its kind, but it seemed to go perfectly. NASA scientists need to make sure that Curiosity can pick up and evaluate the drill cuttings, and then it's on to "the first full drilling in coming days," says the agency. The drill site was selected because it could yield clues about whether water once flowed there.

This image provided by NASA shows the aftermath of a test drill by the Curiosity rover on Mars.
This image provided by NASA shows the aftermath of a test drill by the Curiosity rover on Mars.   (AP Photo/NASA)
This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.
This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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