Engineers commanded Curiosity to drill its third drill hole on Tuesday on what looks like an outcrop of sandstone in Gale Crater.
This hole is shallow and is merely a test to see if a deeper full bore would be worthwhile geological.
That Curiosity has only drilled three holes, and is now only doing a test bore first is partly because engineers fear that using the drill too much will cause a short circuit that will disable the rover entirely. This fear is because of a design flaw in the construction of the rover and the drill.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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