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The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) during the mission's 120th Martian day, or sol (Dec. 7, 2012), to record this view of a rock outcrop informally named "Shaler." Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) during the mission's 120th Martian day, or sol (Dec. 7, 2012), to record this view of a rock outcrop informally named "Shaler." Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image taken by the Mast Camera (MastCam) on NASA's Curiosity rover highlights the interesting geology of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside Gale Crater, where the rover landed.

This image taken by the Mast Camera (MastCam) on NASA's Curiosity rover highlights the interesting geology of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside Gale Crater, where the rover landed.

The turret of MSL is pictured by one of Curiosity's mast cameras. The pink disc is the lens cover on Mahli. The brushes at far right are used to remove dust from rocks under investigation

Nasa's Curiosity rover 'sniffs' Martian air

The turret of MSL is pictured by one of Curiosity's mast cameras. The pink disc is the lens cover on Mahli. The brushes at far right are used to remove dust from rocks under investigation

The patch of veined, flat-lying rock selected as the first drilling site for Curiosity.   The area is full of fractures and veins, with the intervening rock also containing concretions - small spherical concentrations of minerals.   A shows a high concentration of ridge-like veins protruding above the surface. B shows that in some portions of this feature, there is a horizontal discontinuity a few centimeters beneath the surface. C shows a hole developed in the sand that overlies a fracture.

The patch of veined, flat-lying rock selected as the first drilling site for Curiosity. The area is full of fractures and veins, with the intervening rock also containing concretions - small spherical concentrations of minerals. A shows a high concentration of ridge-like veins protruding above the surface. B shows that in some portions of this feature, there is a horizontal discontinuity a few centimeters beneath the surface. C shows a hole developed in the sand that overlies a fracture.

This image of a Martian rock illuminated by white-light LEDs (light emitting diodes) is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image of a Martian rock illuminated by white-light LEDs (light emitting diodes) is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded after other portions of the sample had been delivered to analytical instruments inside the rover. The site is on a patch of flat rock called "John Klein" in the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater.

This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded after other portions of the sample had been delivered to analytical instruments inside the rover. The site is on a patch of flat rock called "John Klein" in the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater.

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