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Curiosity Mars rover deploys its rock brush


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Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity has used its brush tool for the first time to sweep dust off the surface of a rock.


The rotating wire bristles cleared a roughly 5cm-wide patch on an area of ground dubbed "Ekwir 1" by scientists.


Brushing away the dust gives the robot's survey instruments a clearer view of the texture and chemistry of the underlying rock.


Curiosity is building towards using its hammer-drill, the last major tool yet to be deployed on the mission.


This should see action very soon, provided a suitable rock can be identified. The drill will produce a powdered sample that can be put in the robot's on-board laboratories for analysis.


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