Sep 11, 2014
By Michael Kramer
Some serious scientific drilling is about to begin – on Mars.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached the base of Mount Sharp.
That was its destination since Curiosity landed two years ago.
Officials say that drilling into the Martian soil could begin as early as next week – at an outcropping of rocks called Pahrump Hills.
Mount Sharp is located in the ancient Gale Crater, and rises nearly 6 kilometres.
A scientific review panel has criticized the Curiosity team for an extended mission that involves too much driving and too little sampling.
On Thursday, project scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology promised there will be a lot more drilling – now that the six-wheel Curiosity is at Mount Sharp.