Mars rover readies first rock drilling

Updated 17 January 2013
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Mars rover readies first rock drilling

WASHINGTON: The Mars rover Curiosity will soon begin to drill into the Red Planet for the first time, mission officials said Tuesday ahead of the highly anticipated endeavor.
Scientists behind the $ 2.5 billion mission also explained the nature of the small “Martian flower,” which had caused a lot of buzz online because it was strikingly different from the surrounding rock.
Aileen Yingst, of the Planetary Science Institute, said that what could have passed as a flower was in fact a relatively large mineral grain or pebble.
“All of these are sedimentary rocks, telling us Mars had environments actively depositing material here,” Yingst said. “The different grain sizes tell us about different transport conditions.”
Curiosity is traveling toward a flat rock with pale veins that scientists hope will provide clues about any water that might have existed on Mars. “Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be this mission’s most challenging activity since the (Aug. 6) landing. It has never been done on Mars,” said Richard Cook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “The drill hardware interacts energetically with Martian material we don’t control. We won’t be surprised if some steps in the process don’t go exactly as planned the first time through.”
Curiosity will collect samples from inside the “John Klein” rock — named in honor of a former Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2012 — and analyze them to determine their chemical and mineral composition.
The rover’s cameras have shown several unexpected features on the rock, including veins, nodules, cross-bedded layering, a lustrous pebble embedded in sandstone and possibly some holes in the ground.
The mission, set to last at least two years, aims to study the Martian environment to prepare for a possible future manned mission.


US President Barack Obama has vowed to send humans to the planet by 2030.


Historic day for Saudi women: #Have you chosen your car?

Granting women the right to drive is part of a wider blueprint for the future.
Updated 24 June 2018
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Historic day for Saudi women: #Have you chosen your car?

The Arabic hashtag for “Have you chosen your car?” was linguistically directed to females and was one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter in Saudi Arabia yesterday as locals anticipated this historic day, June 24, the first day when women could drive on the roads of Saudi Arabia.
@GhadeerDk said: “Mercedes S Class 2018 Or Genesis G90.”
@ba_11_ba posted a picture of a Lexus LX570 and tweeted: “My dream car.”
From the region, @medianeminence said: “Seeing Saudi girls contemplate which cars should they get is truly heartwarming.”
@i1i___G said: “Dodge charger 2014.”
Tweeting in Arabic, @Abdullah_Ali_f said: “Legal adviser: Photographing women while they are driving and using this material as a means of mockery, humor and taunting is a violation of the anti-cybercrime law. Whoever commits such acts is subject to no longer than 5 years in prison and a fine that does not exceed SR3 million, or one of the two punishments.”