Memorial Weekend and last rover in DC/MD unless there’s any private or last minute booking.. Peter the little mischievous dog! #roversitter#rover (last rover, yup I’ll continue doing this in Davis California!)
Repost from @nasajpl @TopRankRepost #TopRankRepost Back to the grind! Our Curiosity Mars rover’s new percussive drilling technique plans to resume pulverization of Martian rocks into powder.
Engineers have been working for the past year to restore the rover's full drilling capabilities, which were hampered in 2016 due to a mechanical problem. Later this weekend, they'll be adding percussion to a new technique already in use on Mars.
This new technique is called Feed Extended Drilling, or FED. It lets Curiosity drill more like the way a person would at home, using the force of its robotic arm to push its drill bit forward as it spins. The new version of FED adds a hammering force to the drill bit.
The drill was tested with the FED technique without percussion at the end of February. It didn't successfully produce a rock sample, but did provide valuable results for engineers at NASA/JPL. Data from the percussive tests, currently planned for Saturday night, will help them continue to refine the drill technique over the coming months.
This view from the Mast Camera (#Mastcam) on #Curiosity shows the rover's drill just after finishing a drilling operation at a target rock called "Telegraph Peak" on Feb. 24, 2015, the 908th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on #Mars.