A second drill attempt by Curiosity, using an improvised drilling technique designed to bypass the failure of the drill’s feed mechanism, once again failed to drill deep enough to obtain a sample.
After two drilling attempts, Curiosity’s drill was not able to dig into the bedrock sufficiently to collect a sample of rock at this location. Curiosity’s engineers are continuing to refine the new drilling method. In the future, this might include adding percussion, which could enable drilling into harder rock.
Either the ground on Vera Rubin Ridge is too hard for Curiosity’s drill, or the new drilling technique does not allow the drill to push with the same force as previously. The update at the link implies the former, but I suspect the latter is a factor as well.
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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