NASA`s Curiosity is on Mars studying the habitability that the red planet may have had in the past and during this mission, the rover has had some inconvenient while driving through rocky terrain. At the beginnings of December of this year, the rover`s team on earth detected an anomaly while sending commands to the rover`s drilling mechanism. This raised concerns about the rover`s performance and the team decided to do some tests on earth in order to diagnose the fault in Curiosity`s drilling mechanism.

Where is curiosity?

The rover is in a region known as Mount Sharp.

A site that offers grounds for studying the habitability on Mars. Mount Sharp is one of the most recent locations that the rover is intended to study and uncover the planet`s possibilities for hosting microbial life forms in the past. The drilling on this site is what would be the seventh sample drilling of 2016. It was in the lower area of this region that Curiosity`s drilling mechanism began to fail and while the faulty mechanism is diagnosed, the rover is monitoring the surroundings.

What caused the failure?

There are two possible causes of this failure. According to the rover`s team, a brake that functions with the drill feed mechanism failed to detach completely. The other possible cause is that an electronic encoder did not operate as planned.

Although the procedures for these two scenarios exist, scientists think that they first need to identify the motor`s lack of operation the previous week.

Rover`s mission

Right now, at the rover`s current location, it has advanced 15 km (9,3 miles) and climbed nearly 165 meters (541 ft.), since landing on Gale Crater on August 2012.

At this location, the rover is climbing gradually, expecting to discover within younger layers of Mount Sharp, the way in which this region`s climate changed in the past. During the rover`s first year on Mars, it was discovered that indeed the planet once offered the right conditions for the development of microbial life.

Now what scientists are trying to investigate is if the conditions of ancient Martian lakes could have been favorable to host life as we know it on earth. The search for this information is still ongoing and when the groundbreaking revelation is announced it will be a great advancement for Mars` exploration.