CuriousMars: California Dreamin' on a Martian Day, Craig Covault, SpaceRef
"There are already plenty of stars around Malibu, California, but could the place be actually like the planet Mars? The NASA rover Curiosity is about to find out.
Two California locations, including an area near the Santa Monica Mountains stretching north from Malibu, were searched in late January for rocks strikingly similar to the Martian rocks that Curiosity is about to drill into on Mars. The samples found are completing final tests for use in assessing the success of the first rock drilling and sampling on another planet.
The drilling and analysis of samples from the inside of a Martian rock should be underway next week with the first shallow drilling tests as early as Feb. 2-4, according to Robert C. Anderson, a member of the Surface Sampling System (SSS) Team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif."