News24

Mars Curiosity to sample sand

2012-10-05 07:31

Washington - Mars Curiosity is about to take its first sip of the red planet's sand. But only after Nasa's rover plays bartender to make sure the dry dust is shaken, not stirred.

The rover's scoop will dig into the sand on Saturday. Then the action starts. Mission sampling chief Daniel Limonadi said the end of the rover's arm will shake vigorously and noisily for eight hours, like a Martian martini mixer gone mad.

That will vibrate the fine dust grains through the rover chemical testing system to cleanse it of unwanted residual Earth grease.

For the next week or two, Curiosity will scoop, shake and dump sand out three times. The fourth time, the sand will go through complex chemical analysis.

Comments
  • Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-10-05 07:39

    James Bond insists that his martini must be stirred, not shaken. The adventures of the Rover across the plains of Mars is as riveting as a James Bond movie. This is awesome stuff.

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-10-05 08:25

    I don't know why they bothered going to Mars to find primitive life. There are plenty of low life primitives right here in South Africa namely stiking workers and taxi drivers.

  • ramabulana - 2012-10-05 08:52

    This picture looks like something taken from studio somewhere in Hollywood, I don't believe all this bull

  • coenraad.vanderwesthuizen.3 - 2012-10-05 11:15

    Imagine they managed to hack the Rover's code and instruct it to build sandcastles instead...

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