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Curiosity Drills And Scorches Surface Of Mars
One of the clearest photos yet from Nasa's Mars Curiosity rover shows what lies beneath the surface of the red planet.
The rover drilled through the surface before firing a laser at a series of points inside the hole to analyse the material.
In a photograph released by Nasa - create using eight separate images - piles of dust can be seen surrounding the neat hole.
Portions of the powdered sandstone were collected by the rover and analysed by its onboard laboratory instruments.
Meanwhile a camera and spectrometer at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm examined the composition and texture of the drill cuttings.
The drilled rock - known as Windjana - is a sandstone slab within a science waypoint area called The Kimberley.
Last year two sites were drilled and provided evidence of an ancient lake bed environment that would have provided conditions favourable to microbial life.
Curiosity is bound for Mount Sharp, a layered mountain at the middle of Gale Crater.