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back to article NASA aims Curiosity's percussive drill at pink, veiny target

NASA has selected the first site for the Curiosity rover to drill into, the first time a man-made object has penetrated the bedrock of the Red Planet. "Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be this mission's most challenging activity since the landing. It has never been done on Mars," said Mars Science Laboratory project …

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Joke

Mock up

I can see the letter "C" followed by a few more letters on that rock so it's probably the infamous 'C Rock' from the faked moon landings being re-used. NASA ought to get new props.

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Re: Mock up

where....?

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Meh

C'mon and start drilling already.

Havwent they been at this stage for over a month now?

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Stop

Sorry guys. And I know it's really quite clever, but...

I have a metre long 10mm bit that cost me about 8 quid ten years ago. Couldn't you have just thought a little longer / deeper?

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FAIL

Re: Sorry guys. And I know it's really quite clever, but...

Your £8 drill bit will probably weigh in the region of 2-3kg, which would cost iro $200,000 in launch costs alone.

It would require a more powerful and heavier drill, increasing launch costs again dramatically

The arm controlling the drill would need to be much more powerful and stronger as a result, increasing weight and power requirements again.

The RTG only delivers 110w of electrical power, not the 3kw needed for your SDS drill. Assuming linear scale the RTG would need to be at least 27 times the size and weight.

Given the size and weight of this thing to mount your drill bit, they would probably need a new heavy launcher to actually get it to Mars.

Curiosity's budget is $2.5Bn, developing a new heavy launcher under government budgets is going to be at least $15Bn.

Developing larger elements of the systems will increase costs again.

I surmise that to add your £8 drill bit (which can't be changed if it fails btw) would increase the cost of the mission by 10x.

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Bronze badge

And I thought they were just going to use

frikken lasers.

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Go

Drill baby, drill!!!

Let us know if you hit oil--would come in handy when establishing a Mars colony.

It would also be interesting proof of Martian dinosaurs!!

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Alien

looks like we can already see water in that photo.

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rvt
Trollface

I can't help thinking.....

What if it's get stuck?

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Re: I can't help thinking.....

There was a mention of extra bits, so one can imagine that the drill has a quick release chuck (most likely a clutch to protect that pricey NASA space motor as well). I would assume the stuck bit would just be left in the ground, and the drill reloaded for a second try.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can't help thinking.....

"...What if it's get stuck?..."

Curiosity starts spinning round and round on the spot, until the mains lead pulls out of the wall.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: I can't help thinking.....

<--- this!

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Facepalm

You can't hit the target you don't aim for

How about aiming for/looking for some kind of life forms? Last I remember drilling rocks wasn't an activity employed in looking for microbes or anything else alive. We'll probably get a commercial transportation to mars long before NASA gets beyond looking at, laser-zapping, and drilling rocks. Oh, and what happened to the one rock that had a piece of transparent something sticking out of it? If all you are going to do is look at rocks go back to that one. That might have been a rare mineral or glass or quarts. NASA come on and look for life or at least stop avoiding interesting stuff.

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Re: How about aiming for/looking for some kind of life forms?

That's what they *are* doing!

Pay attention!

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Pint

" ... or glass or quarts."

A quart glass you say? I'll drink to that. Is it too late to apply to be a mission planner at NASA? I've always wanted that job.

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I can't wait until they send up the next generation of Infrared.

cybersleauth

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First time a man-made object has penetrated the bedrock of the Red Planet ?

Really? Some of the various probes and orbiters arrived unexpectedly fast and, one might assume, left some pretty good craters: Beagle 2, Mars Polar Lander, Mars Climate Orbiter ...

Still, "the first time a man-made object has penetrated the bedrock of the Red Planet in a controlled, deliberate and intentional manner" hasn't got quite the same ring to it !

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Anonymous Coward

space pay bonanza

boffins pulling in bulk cash for the duration of the mission, so it pays to drag it out forever lol

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Joke

Just waiting for the greens to start a campain to end drilling on Mars....

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Childcatcher

too late !

already auto-whiners are arguing for no mining on Moon until we "know all about it". Worried about He3 extraction.

Have been letter writers arguing that the space probe landing sites need to be cleaned up over the decades. Some were not joking I think.

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