Buffeted by ethereal twisters, Mars rover gears up to move on

Buffeted by ethereal whirlwinds and twisters, the Curiosity Mars rover is wrapping up initial soil analysis operations at a sandy drift where it’s been parked for more than a month, project scientists said today. The rover is now being prepared to move on in search of suitable targets for a compact rock drill, the final major sample acquisition system to be tested.
Ashwin Vasavada, the deputy project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told reporters that Curiosity’s robot arm had completed five scoops of martian soil, using…

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