In this case, we want a piece of Mars - courtesy of the Curiosity Mars Rover and its little drill. For the first time, a remotely controlled craft has drilled into a rock on another planet. This was not a core sample type of drill, but it got some fine powder out of the rock from a depth of a couple of inches. The dust samples will be analyzed on board the rover.
NASAThe sample comes from a fine-grained, veiny sedimentary rock called "John Klein," named in memory of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. The rock was selected for the first sample drilling because it may hold evidence of wet environmental conditions long ago. The rover's laboratory analysis of the powder may provide information about those conditions.
|Dust from drilling waiting to be analyzed|