Curiosity rover drilled into flat Martian rock; NASA to reveal what's inside

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Curiosity drilled into its first Martian rock a month ago. Now scientists will reveal what’s inside.

Gathering at NASA headquarters Tuesday, the rover team will detail the minerals and chemicals present in a grey pinch of ground-up rock.

The rock results come seven months after Curiosity made a dramatic landing in an ancient crater near the equator. It has been slow going since then as engineers learn to handle the car-size rover.

Scientists are thrilled with the latest achievement — a first on Mars. It involved boring a hole, scooping the powder and running it through Curiosity’s instruments.

By analyzing the rock’s interior, researchers hope to determine whether the landing spot was habitable. They already have one hint — an ancient streambed that Curiosity crossed to get to the rock.

Curiosity Rover collects bedrock sample from Mars

NASA announced Saturday that its Curiosity Rover had used a drill at the end of its robotic arm to collect a sample from Mars.

Storified by Maclean’s Magazine· Tue, Mar 12 2013 03:39:00

Lookie what I did! It’s a hole in 1 rock on Mars. This "mini drill" was a test, more to come! Rover
#Nasa’s @MarsCuriosity rover uses drill system for the first time & News US
NASA says the hole in the sedimentary bedrock is about 1.6 centimetres by 6.4 centimetres. “The rock is believed to hold evidence about long-gone wet environments,” the space agency explained. “The rover will use its laboratory instruments to analyze rock powder collected by the drill.”
The real deal! First drilling on Mars to collect a sample for SCIENCE is a success. Rover
Blink and you’ll miss it! See the before-and-after blink of my "mini drill" into a Martian rock [gif] Rover
@Raffo84 Yep! My Powder Acquisition Drill System (PADS) is a rotary percussive drill.Curiosity Rover
NASA is pretty proud of its rover. “The most advanced planetary robot ever designed is now a fully operating laboratory on Mars,” said a member of the agency’s space directorate.
In other news, the Curiosity Rover has also learned how to take a selfie — a process it explains below:
How do I take selfies on Mars? By taking multiple pics w/ a camera at the end of my arm. Here’s how it’s done: Rover