Curiosity’s drill is down

The Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” is an amazing vehicle in an exceptionally hostile environment, and it seems it is having some issues with its drill.  The drill itself is working fine, but the motor that extends the drill bit forward to touch the rock face is not cooperating.  As a consequence, Curiosity is on non-drilling duties while the JPL team analyzes the problem and decides what to try next.  Fortunately, it has a wealth of other instrumentation, so Curiosity has been far from idle.  Here’s one of the pictures it took while on its “drilling hiatus”:


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