Mars Curiosity Rover Drill Issue Still Not Resolved

Posted: Dec 15 2016, 11:00am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Mars Curiosity Rover Drill Issue Still Not Resolved
This Dec. 2, 2016, view from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on the mast of NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows rocky ground within view while the rover was working at an intended drilling site called "Precipice" on lower Mount Sharp. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Space Scientists know Better to Fix Curiosity’s Drill problem

Curiosity faced a problem on Dec1; its drill mechanism had some issues. The mechanism moves the mars rover Curiosity’s drill outward from this spacecraft’s long arm on the end.

Mission team members detected the problem, and assumed that the problem was either with electrical sensors or with mechanism’s brake.

The scientist at NASA, named Ashwin Vasavada, detected the exact issue. Ashwin Vasavada, is also a project scientist of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California

According to Vasavada, the issue is more due to brake right now, and we can fix it to some extent. The scientists explained this on Dec 13 in a news conference at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

But, success was temporary because the problem reoccurred, said Vasavada. So, the scientists again started detecting the issue with drill feed, according to

Drill is an important part of curiosity, because it controls the process of hammering and rotating to drill in the rock. In august 2012 Gale Crater rover drilled into 15 rocks, and did it successfully

But,curiosity had drill problems due to short circuiting the past. Last week Vasavada said that, the team is now careful and has planned to use only rotating action of drill in future.

Tests were also done on Earth that revealed that rotary–only drill can also work at several places. Vasavada said that the drill will work well on soft rocks, but we are not confident if it would also work on hard rocks.

In a news conference, Joy Crisp a project scientists said that Curiosity is also having wind sensor issues that’s detected on weather station. But, he says that rover’s wheels are working and Curiosity is overall in a good condition. Scientists hope that they will soon get over with drill issues.

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