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January 9 2013
Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity has used its brush tool for the first time to sweep dust off the surface of a rock.
The rotating wire bristles cleared a roughly 5cm-wide patch on an area of ground dubbed "Ekwir 1" by scientists.
Brushing away the dust gives the robot's survey instruments a clearer view of the texture and chemistry of the underlying rock.
Curiosity is building towards using its hammer-drill, the last major tool yet to be deployed on the mission.
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