NASA on 9 February 2013 announced that its Mars rover Curiosity drilled into the surface of the planet for first time. The drilling was a part of endeavor to learn whether the Martian surface, which has solar system like that of Earth, supports microbial life or not. The drilling into Martian surface took place for the first time on 8 February 2013.
As an outcome of the drilling, the pictures were sent by Curiosity which depicted a hole of around 0.63 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep in the fine-grained sedimentary bedrock. The drilling fetched out small heap of powder which will be fed in onboard laboratory instruments so that the chemical makeup of the rock can be determined.
Earlier in the second week of February 2013, engineers spent a few days in order to make use of the Curiosity’s drill which also included boring practice holes. The first drill target of Curiosity was a Martian rock which was laced with the veins which appeared like water-deposited minerals. Curiosity is on a two-year mission on Mars for finding out the chemical and geologic conditions on Mars which are required for supporting as well as preserving the microbial life.
Engineers are not clear yet whether the powder was produced in what quantity but it is enough for laboratory analysis. NASA announced that using drill was the biggest achievement for the team of Curiosity ever since the rover landed on Mars in August 2012.
The final target of Curiosity is 3-mile- (5-km) high mound of layered sediment which rises from floor of Gale Crater landing site.