Hole at 'Buckskin' Drilled Days Before Landing Anniversary
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover drilled this hole to collect sample material from a rock target called "Buckskin" on July 30, 2015, during the 1060th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. The diameter is slightly smaller than a U.S. dime.
Curiosity landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, Universal Time (evening of Aug. 5, PDT).
The rover took this image with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera, which is mounted on the same robotic arm as the sample-collecting drill. Rock powder from the collected sample was subsequently delivered to a laboratory inside the rover for analysis. The rover's drill did not experience any sign during this sample collection of an intermittent short-circuiting issue that was detected earlier in 2015.
The Buckskin target is in an area near "Marias Pass" on lower Mount Sharp where Curiosity had detected unusually high levels of silica and hydrogen.
MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.