The first pictures of the Curiosity rover’s drill in operation appeared in the raw image archive this weekend and show a gray powder piled up around the holes. Much red dust covers the Red Planet, but once you get below the surface, the true rock color is revealed.
Curiosity is test drilling at the John Klein site in Yellowknife Bay inside Gale Crater. Once it’s cleaned its sample containment container mounted above the drill with grit from the drilling process, actual sampling and analysis will begin. That’s probably still a few days away.
Look closely at test drill animation above and you’ll see small pebbles about a foot away shift position as the slabby rock they’re on shakes with each percussive jab of the drill. Almost like being there.