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Mars rover ingests rock powder for tests
by Staff Writers
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Feb 25, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

NASA scientists say two compact laboratories inside the Mars rover Curiosity have ingested the first rock powder ever collected from inside a martian rock.

Curiosity science team members will use the laboratories to analyze the rock powder in the coming days and weeks, officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said Monday.

The rover's chemistry and mineralogy instrument and its sample analysis instrument each received portions of the material and have begun inspecting it, laboratory scientists said.

"Data from the instruments have confirmed the deliveries," Curiosity Mission Manager Jennifer Trosper said.

The powder was collected when Curiosity drilled into a rock target Feb. 8.

One or more additional portions from the same initial sample may be delivered to the instruments as analysis proceeds, the laboratory said.

Curiosity's carries a collection of 10 science instruments to assess whether the study area in Gale Crater on Mars ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.


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NASA Rover Confirms First Drilled Mars Rock Sample
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 21, 2013
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior. Transfer of the powdered-rock sample into an open scoop was visible for the first time in images received Wednesday at NASA's Jet Pr ... read more

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