BBC: After six months on Mars, NASA has deployed Curiosity’s 2.2-m-long robotic arm and drilled into the Martian crust. This is the first time internal rock samples have been taken from a planetary body other than Earth. After testing the basic functionality of the arm last week, the scientists drilled a 2-cm test hole. The drilling produced a fine-grained gray powder that was deemed suitable for collection. Then the scientists drilled a 6.4-cm hole, which was deep enough for rock and dirt samples to be collected in the acquisition chamber. While some of the sample will be studied by the analysis tools onboard Curiosity, the rest will be used to scrub the insides of the machinery to remove any residual contaminants from Earth. The Chemin and SAM labs onboard Curiosity will determine the chemical makeup and mineralogy of the sample as part of the rover’s mission to evaluate whether Mars could have ever supported life.