Curiosity’s Drill Broke. Now what?
12.05.2017 - By Are We There Yet?
Last year, Curiosity’s drill broke. The Mars rover had used the drill to acquire sample material from Martian rocks 15 times so far. But a sensor that monitors the amount of force used on the arm that hold the drill failed. That means Curiousity can’t tell if the drill bit is slipping or facing excessive force.
Mission managers think they have a fix. Megan Richardson is an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab who helped come up with a way to safely drill with Curiosity. She joins the podcast to talk about how the team figured out the solution and just how soon the rover’s drill will get back to work.