After almost two years on Mars, and nearing its targeted Mount Sharp, the NASA’s Curiosity rover has succeeded in drilling a 6 cm hole to collect soil samples for analysis aboard its onboard laboratory. The Curiosity rover has deployed its drilling tool to dig out a hole around the Pahrump Hills area of Mars, and the collected soil samples will enable scientists determine if the space planet had once supported life in any forms before its present state.

This is not the first time the rover is drilling into Martian rocks to collect samples, and in actual fact, this is about the third or fourth time, having earlier drilled into three rocks to collect samples. And based on earlier analyzed sediments and samples, researchers have been able to agree that rivers and lakes must have been present at the base of Gale several billion years ago.

The Curiosity rover still ambles toward its main destination which happens to be Mount Sharp, which is about 5 km from Mar’s Gale Crater which is at the center of the peak. The handlers state that the rover has been doing exceptionally well in its mission, and it is expected that it will cover more grounds to arrive Mount Sharp will also collecting samples along the way. The Curiosity team believes that in a matter of months or even years, the rover might be able to collect fresh soil and rock samples that lend strong evidence to the fact that Mars may have supported life and teeming bodies of water.

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