Curiosity examines first drilling target

Curiosity inspects the bedrock slab called John Klein as it prepares for its first drilling test. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Damien Bouic

Curiosity inspects the bedrock slab called John Klein as it prepares for its first drilling test. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Damien Bouic

As it gets ready for its first drilling test, the Curiosity rover has been busy studying its target, an area of bedrock called John Klein, in Yellowknife Bay. The initial drilling, the first of many planned, should be any day now. What will analysis of the material deeper inside the bedrock show? It should be interesting, since Curiosity has already found evidence that this location was once drenched with water, including a fast-moving stream that used to flow very close to the landing site.

Yellowknife Bay is a shallow depression near the landing site inside Gale crater which may have held standing water in the distant past. Already an amazing variety of geological puzzles have been seen here, with even more in the foothills and slopes of Mount Sharp, a massive mound of sedimentary deposits, waiting to be discovered…

Panorama from sol 169 showing John Klein in the foreground, the rest of Yellowknife Bay in the distance and Mount Sharp on the horizon. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Damien Bouic

Panorama from sol 169 showing John Klein in the foreground, more of Yellowknife Bay in the distance and Mount Sharp on the horizon. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Damien Bouic

Thanks again to Damien Bouic for his montage and panoramic images created from the original Curiosity images. All of his Curiosity images are available here (French web site).

One Thought on “Curiosity examines first drilling target

  1. awesome shots. thanks!

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