Curiosity will take Martian soil samples for the 1st time

10/5/2012 | Space.com

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is set to scoop up its first soil samples at a sandy patch called Rocknest on Saturday. The first scoops are intended to be used for cleaning out the rover's handling system. "We want to be sure the first sample we analyze is unambiguously Martian, so we take these steps to remove any residual material from Earth that might be on the walls of our sample handling system," said Joel Hurowitz, a Curiosity sampling system scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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