Curiosity’s drill developed a problem in December 2016, when a faulty motor prevented its drill bit from extending and retracting between its stabilizing fingers. Since then, NASA have come up with a new drilling technique
, which has now been tested successfully on Mars, after being trialed on its testbed rover twin back on Earth.
NASA’s next Mars mission, InSight, arrived at its launch site
at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, ahead of its May 2018 launch date. It caught a lift by the 21st Airlift Squadron and could be Mars bound as soon as May 5th.
Initially suspended after an accident involving one of the four crew members, the HI-SEAS VI Mars analog mission on Hawaii was officially cancelled
. A call has gone out for a new, fourth member to complete the team again.
PS: Amidst all the NASA Mars news, don’t forget, the Japanese Space agency (JAXA) also has a mission to survey the two Mars moons
, Phobos and Deimos, and even return samples back to Earth!