Why does the rover have a drill?
It has a drill so it can get through all the different types of soil that it will find on Mars.
It need to do this to collect all the samples it needs!
So what’s special about this drill?
The drill is made up of a few components.
There’s the Drill Tool which is nearly one metre long. As well as the sharp pointy bit which has a special acquisition device to collect samples, sensors to record its position and temperature, and a lamp to show what it’s doing.
Then there are three Extension Rods, each half a metre long, which extend the drilling depth. And there are also clamps, electronics and a back-up drill tool, all of which can be tucked within the rover and moved into position when needed.
It’s a bit like The Mole that International rescue use!
What if the drill gets stuck? It’s not like there will be anyone there to get it unstuck
The drill has a special jettison device that is designed to help free the drill if it gets stuck.
How does the drill know what samples to collect?
The drill uses a infrared spectrometer to characterise the hole it makes. Then scientists will look at this information and use it to decide what samples it should collect.
During the mission the rover will collect at least 17 samples.
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