NASA's Curiosity rover successfully drilled a 2-inch-deep hole in a target called 'Duluth' on May 20, 2018. It was the first rock sample captured by the drill since October 2016.

NASA's Curiosity rover successfully drilled a hole 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) deep in a target called "Duluth" on May 20, 2018. The hole is about .6 inches (1.6 centimeters) across. It was the first rock sample captured by the drill since October 2016. A mechanical issue took the drill offline in December 2016.

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, had to innovate a new way for the rover to drill in order to restore this ability. The new technique, called Feed Extended Drilling (FED) keeps the drill's bit extended out past two stabilizer posts that were originally used to steady the drill against Martian rocks. It lets Curiosity drill using the force of its robotic arm, a little more like a human would while drilling into a wall at home.

This image was taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 2057. It has been white balanced and contrast-enhanced.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

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