ATLANTA -- Five months after touching down upon the Red Planet, a car size rover continues to uncover new information as we learn if life ever existed on the surface of Mars.
German offered up recent images and details into the scientific rover's excursion and dirt samples during January.
Recent dirt scoops and new drilling into bedrock will offer geologists at both NASA and Tellus a better composite sketch of the area around the craft's landing sight inside Gale Crater.
"Wow, this is Mars. This is very cool," German exclaimed as he began his presentation showing the barren surface from Curiosity's mast camera.
He pointed out to the audience, "Although the Martian landscape looks like a desert, it's not as hot as earth's, it's much colder on average of -80 Fahrenheit."
Close-up views of the rust-colored soil and nearby Mount Sharp gave the science museum a special glimpse into a distant world.
Incredible true color views of strata layers of sedimentary rock on the mountain's side lead German to ask, "could these layers, which normally form by water, have been underwater at some point?"
The closing days of January will see the rover use a special drill to help venture inside a rock formation. German added that "the drill bits being used came from Home Depot", adding "they couldn't find any better bits".
NASA has chosen a rock it has named John Klein, in honor of the project's late deputy manager.
"Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be the mission's most challenging activity since the landing," states Curiosity's project manager Richard Cook from California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Cook feels that the first drill into Martian rock may not go as planned at first, "The drill hardware interacts energetically with Martian material we don't control."
Don German added the drilling will yield new information into the planet's history as the core sample is place on the rover's tray for chemical analysis.
(Charles Atkeison covers science & technology for Examiner.com. Follow his updates via Twitter @AbsolutSpaceGuy.)