NASA fix for Curiosity rovers’s damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly

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NASA fix for Curiosity rovers’s damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly‘The RegisterNASA’s Curiosity rover aims to get its rhythm back‘Phys.Org

NASA’s top engineers think they’ve figured out a way to get the Curiosity rover’s drill back to work holing the rock faces of Mars.

The new technique is called Feed Extended Drilling (FED) and uses the rover’s robotic arm to direct the drill bit. Tests conducted in February 2018 proved the technique didn’t work very well so the NASA boffins added a percussive element to hopefully drive the spinning drill bit into rock slabs on Saturday.

“This is our next big test to restore drilling closer to the way it worked before,” said Steven Lee, Curiosity deputy project manager at JPL. “Based on how it performs, we can fine-tune the process, trying things like increasing the amount of force we apply while drilling.”

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Not to change the topic here:

NASA’s Curiosity rover aims to get its rhythm back

NASA’s Curiosity rover could soon be drilling rocks on Mars again. Engineers have been working for the past year to restore the rover’s full drilling capabilities, which were hampered in 2016 due to a mechanical problem. Later this weekend, they’ll be adding percussion to a new technique already in use on Mars.

This new technique is called Feed Extended Drilling, or FED. It lets Curiosity drill more like the way a person would at home, using the force of its robotic arm to push its drill bit forward as it spins. The new version of FED adds a hammering force to the drill bit.

Further on.

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