But now the rover is back on-line, and that sample has found its way to the instruments it was meant for.
"That precious Telegraph Peak sample had been sitting in the arm, so tantalizingly close, for two weeks. We are really excited to get it delivered for analysis," Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement.
The team thinks that the short happened in the motor that controls up and down movements in the rover's drill. During the precautionary tests over the past couple of weeks, the scientists only saw the short circuit happen one more time -- and for just one hundredth of a second. Since it didn't happen repeatedly or cause damage to the motor, Curiosity can cautiously continue use of the vital drill. Curiosity relies on both rotary and percussive motions to break into and break up the rocks of Mars, so it's important that NASA keeps an eye on the drill and maintains its function.