Mars rover “Kyuryoshity” was forced to drill humanly

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Mars “Kyuryoshiti” has tried a new way of drilling the surface of Mars. During the tests, he was able to make a hole depth of one centimeter, according to the NASA website.

The “Kyuryoshiti” rover was sent to Mars in 2011. His main mission is to collect information about the geology and climate of the Red Planet, as well as preparing for a person’s landing. To do this, he conducts many scientific experiments, including drilling of rocks. The resulting stone powder then enters a special laboratory inside the rover, where the Chemin tool examines the chemical and mineralogical composition.

In 2016, a drill “Kyuryoshiti” stalled  – a problem arose with the mechanism of the drill, which pushes it out of the cruciform turret-turret installed at the end of the manipulator. Six months later the problem was solved, and the drill was put into working position. Nevertheless, if earlier the stability of the work was provided by two lateral stops, and then the drilling rig itself was brought into motion, now the use of stabilizers had to be abandoned.

According to the mission team, now the work of the manipulator “Kyuryoshiti” is more like the work of a human hand. “Now we are drilling on Mars the same way you do it at home. People very well reorient the drill, even without even thinking about it. It is not easy to program “Kyuriosity” so that it does it on its own, especially considering that it was not intended for this, “commented Steven Lee, deputy head of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Project.

The test well was made on the ridge of Vera Rubin, where the rover is now. The hole turned out to be shallow, only one centimeter, but this proves the viability of the method. On the other hand, the former way of taking soil for analysis became impossible. Now the rover “shakes off” the drill, so that the particles of rocks from it get into his laboratory.

Since the landing in the Gail crater, “Curiosity” has traveled more than 15 kilometers and climbed to a height of 165 meters. During his work, he  took alot of pictures of the Red Planet, and collected important scientific data, thanks to which, for example, it was possible to find out that there are organic substances on the planet – chlorobenzene, methane, chlorinated alkanes.

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