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February 7 2013

Curiosity Mars rover spins its rock drill


Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity has turned its drill in rock for the first time.

The big rover had previously used just the hammer action on the tool, but it has now progressed to operating the device in a rotary mode as well.

New pictures sent back from the robot show a small, shallow, rounded hole that is surrounded by fine tailings.

Soon, Curiosity will be commanded to drill up to 5cm into rock to obtain a powdered sample that can be delivered to the vehicle's onboard labs.

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