FEB 28, 2018 06:27 PM PST

NASA's Curiosity Rover Uses a Brand-New Drilling Technique


NASA's Curiosity rover sports a unique drilling tool that lets the SUV-sized Mars exploration vehicle sample the red planet's rock and soil for scientific research. But there's just one problem: it hasn't been working correctly lately.

Curiosity's drilling mechanism includes two stabilizers on either side of the drill bit that should grip the drilling surface. Unfortunately, a problem with the drilling system causes these grips to get in the way, so NASA had to improvise.

The space agency came up with an entirely new drilling method that doesn't use the stabilizers at all. Instead, NASA retracts the stabilizers and remotely controls the rover's drilling pressure with the help of a pressure sensor built into the drilling arm itself.

NASA engineers used this new drilling method once already, and it yielded spectacular results. That said, you can bet NASA plans to use it again in the future for additional sampling of the Martian surface.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2018
Videos
NOV 11, 2018
Is Our Everyday Electronic Devices Making Us Sick?
1-5% of people believe their electronic devices are making them experiences symptoms associated with such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches. These indivi...
NOV 22, 2018
Videos
NOV 22, 2018
The science of gratitude
On a day like Thanksgiving, it is easy to remember all that we are thankful for. But for a while now scientists have been trying to crack the code behind t...
NOV 24, 2018
Videos
NOV 24, 2018
Gene signature predicting immune therapy
An experiment is conducted upon ECM to decide for a novel biomarker, that will help to deciding which patient can enroll fro immune therapy....
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
Ongoing Ebola Outbreak in DRC Becomes Country's Worst Ever
On August 1, 2018, an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is still ongoing....
NOV 26, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 26, 2018
The Role of Clinical Lab Scientists
The clinical laboratory is the heart of any hospital or healthcare system. It is responsible for greater than 70% of medical diagnoses and decisions made b...
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
What If Earth Spun the Other Way?
If once upon a time the Earth spun the other way—the seasons wouldn’t change because of the Earths tilt. But, what would change is the climate ...
Loading Comments...