BBC: The Mars rover Curiosity, launched by NASA in 2011, has used its drilling system for the first time. In its initial foray, it hammered out a visible indentation on the surface of Gale Crater, where the craft landed last August. Once the craft has located a suitable site, multiple test holes will be drilled, using both hammering and rotating action. The goal is to obtain a powdered sample that can be picked up and delivered to Curiosity’s onboard laboratories. So far scientists have been able to determine that the rock is sedimentary and that water was probably involved in its formation.