Curiosity rover drills into second Martian rock

May 20, 2013, 6:49 PM EDT
The robotic arm of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, has been stowed against the body of the spacecraft in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center August 13, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Getty Images/NASA

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA's Curiosity rover drills again.

The space agency said Monday that Curiosity has bored a hole in a second rock and will transfer a pinch of powder to its onboard laboratories later this week for analysis.

Sunday's drill was the first major activity by Curiosity since it emerged from a monthlong hiatus. The latest drill site was located about nine feet away from the first rock that Curiosity drilled into three months earlier. A preliminary analysis of the first rock revealed evidence of an ancient environment suitable for primitive life.

Scientists wanted to study a second rock to confirm the finding.

The team hopes to wrap up soon at the current location and start the long drive to Curiosity's ultimate destination — a mountain rising from the crater floor.