Martian meteorite tests for Mars 2020 mission

Martian meteorite tests for Mars 2020 mission

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Martian meteorite tests for Mars 2020 mission. Slice of a meteorite that came from Mars that will be used to test a laser instrument for NASA's Mars 2020 rover. A separate slice will go to Mars on the rover. Past impacts on Mars resulted in rock being blasted into space, later reaching Earth as meteorites. They are identified as Martian rocks based on their mineralogy and the gases trapped in them that bear the unique fingerprint of the Martian atmosphere, as recorded by NASA's Viking mission in 1976. The rock types also show clear signs of igneous processing not possible on smaller bodies, such as asteroids. The Mars 2020 mission is scheduled to launch in July 2020 and land in February 2021. It is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. Photographed at NASA's Astrobiology Institute at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA. Image published in February 2018.

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