Rover Set To Scoop Up First Martian Soil

Trending News Channel
Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
Oct. 5 2012 4:00 PM

Rover Set To Scoop Up First Martian Soil


Photo by NASA via Getty Images

The Mars rover Curiosity is set to start scooping up the first samples of sand from the red planet.

The rover landed in Mars’ Gale Crater in August and has driven three-tenths of a mile since then. NASA now believes that Curiosity is sitting at the head of an ancient alluvial fan where water ran through the crater millions of years ago.

Extracting samples from the surface will be the first use of Curiosity's on board laboratory in experiments designed to determine if Mars ever had environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

Before the analysis can begin, Curiosity must first rid itself of all Earthly residue, which would compromise its findings. To do that, it will rinse its robotic arm by shaking fine dust through its components.


Once the rinsing is complete, Curiosity will deliver a pill-sized amount of sand to its lab for analysis. And the rover will remain parked in its location for a few weeks while the experiments are carried out.

Andrew Bouvé is the co-executive producer for Slate video.



The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer


Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.


Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.