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Are We There Yet? Podcast

Curiosity’s Drill Broke. Now what?

On Mars, Curiosity rover takes a 'selfie.' Photo: NASA / JPL / Jason Majors

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.


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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers the space beat for WMFE, reporting on rocket launches from Florida's Space Coast to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He host's WMFE's space exploration podcast "Are We There Yet?" He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

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