Curiosity Drills On Mars!

After all the tests and preparations, Curiosity has drilled her first proper hole on, and into the rock of Mars. I don’t think it’s unfair or overly melodranatic to say that a new era of planetary science, and exploration, has begun.

The hole Curiosity has drilled isn’t that much to look at, to be honest…


…in fact it’s quite small, as you can see if you look at this pic of my hand with the actual diameter of the hole (1.6cm) drawn onto it…


…put the two together and you can see just how big, or rather how small, The Hole really is…

hand hole

…but that’s SO not the point. This isn’t just a hole. This is a hole dug out of ancient, ancient bedrock on an alien world, a world far, far away from Earth. If you look west, you can see that world after sunset tonight, looking like a tiny spark of orange light just above the treetops, almost lost in the marmalade glow of the twilight. Just think about that for a moment… we sent a machine across space, across many, many millions of miles, and it is now drilling holes in that planet. The rock and dust dug out of those holes is then brougfht into the machine and put through an unbelievably complicated set of tests in an almost impossibly complicated miniature laboratory. That would have been science fiction a decade ago. But it’s happening right now, as you read this.

But as amazing as that is, even more amazing is the fact that this isn’t new. It’s being done on a new, fascinating, exotic and exciting place, for sure, but we’ve been doing this for literally thousands of years…


No matter how far we travel across our solar system, or across our Galaxy, or far out into the universe, wherever we go, on whichever planets, moons, asteroids and comets we land on Out There in the Great Black, we’ll dig or drill into their rocks and ices and leave our mark on them in the shape of holes. It’s Mankind’s basic “I woz here” tag.


Next, MSL Curiosity will test the rock and dust she dug out of Mars when she made that hole, and then she’ll radio her results back to us here on Earth. I can’t wait to find out what she tells us…


4 thoughts on “Curiosity Drills On Mars!

  1. Birgit says:

    Aua, your Hand…you have a boo-boo..Stu.., but it is demonstrative…!! Thanks !

  2. Barry McMahon says:

    Please resume this blog. I check it every day, but nothing for 7 months!

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