Site of Curiosity's Second Bite of Mount Sharp,  Gray cuttings from drilling by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover into a target called "Mojave 2" are visible surrounding the sample-collection hole in this image ...

Site of Curiosity's Second Bite of Mount Sharp


Gray cuttings from drilling by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover into a target called "Mojave 2" are visible surrounding the sample-collection hole in this image from the rovers' Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera. This site in the "Pink Cliffs" portion of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop provided the mission's second drilled sample of layered rock forming the base of Mount Sharp. The image was taken on Jan. 31, 2015, during the 884th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The rover drilled the Mojave 2 sample-collection hole on Sol 882 (Jan. 29) one sol after completing the mini drill test of the site's suitability for drilling. Each drill hole is about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) in diameter. The hole from the mini drill test is visible about 4 inches (10 centimeters) from the sample-collection hole -- toward the upper left in this view. About three times that distance toward upper right, a gray rock fragment surrounded by finer gray material is visible. This is a chunk of freshly exposed rock resulting from a Sol 867 (Jan. 13) mini drill test at a target called "Mojave." The test there cracked through the rock, showing it to be an unsuitable target for sample-collection drilling. The location of Pink Cliffs in relation to the rest of the Pahrump Hills outcrop is indicated on the annotated scene at PIA19039 .MAHLI, which is mounted on Curiosity's robotic arm, was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Image released by NASA on 2015-02-05 as catalog id PIA19115
This photo was taken 6 years ago and uploaded to photonado 6 years ago
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