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The rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera recorded this close-up view of the drill test results during the 180th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity Drills Hole Into Mars Rock: Pictures

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover tested its rock drill for the first time this week, clearing the way for a detailed chemical analysis of what appears to be water-deposited minerals in a rock at Gale Crater.

February 8, 2013
11:59 PM EST
In an activity called the "mini drill test," NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its drill to generate this ring of powdered rock for inspection in advance of the rover's first full drilling. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
A pair of images taken before (left) and after (right) Curiosity performed a "mini drill test" on a Martian rock -- changes resulting from that activity are shown. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
Close-up of Curiosity's drill and drill bit shortly before the rover carried out its "mini drill test" on the "John Klein" test drill site. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
Curiosity carries out its "mini drill test" -- drill is in contact with the rock in this photo taken by one of Curiosity's hazcams. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
Curiosity inspects the drill hole with its robotic arm-mounted Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
A self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013) at the "John Klein" drill site. | NASA/JPL-Caltech