In his latest video, Destin from Smarter Every Day answers a question that most space lovers have probably asked. Why are drills such important tools for exploring new planets? And how do these space drills work?

[Mars once had great lakes and rivers, according to rover data]

To get answers, the video takes us as close as we can get to the real thing without booking a one-way ticket to Mars: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which features a simulated Martian surface called the "MarsYard" and an Earth-bound twin of the Curiosity rover itself.

[What water on Mars can teach us about scientific ‘breakthroughs’]

This duplicate lets scientists test software and maneuvers before they send commands up to the real rover, so it operates in exactly the same way as the one on Mars. That means that watching this doppelgänger is the closest most of us will ever come to seeing a Martian drill bit in action. 

Check out the full video to learn exactly why and how these drills have rocked our understanding of Mars.

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