At the center of this image from NASA's Curiosity rover is the hole in a rock called "John Klein" where the rover conducted its first sample drilling on Mars.
At the center of this image from NASA’s Curiosity rover is the hole in a rock called “John Klein” where the rover conducted its first sample drilling on Mars.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has, for the first time, used a drill on the end of a robotic arm to bore into a rock on the planet.

NASA calls this a proud day for the United States and the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the rover arrived on Mars in August.

Directed by engineers on Earth, powder from the rock will travel up flutes on the drill bit for eventual deposit into a special chamber for analysis.

Scientists believe the rock being drilled has evidence of what may have been water on Mars.  A moist environment is essential for life.

Scientists are looking for signs that life may have at one time existed on Mars.

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