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Martian rock investigations

Martian rock investigations

R360/0148

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Credit

NASA / JPL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Martian rock investigations. Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity examining bedrock on the Martian surface. This rock, nick-named 'El Capitan', is situated along the rim of the crater in which Opportunity landed on 24 January 2004. The rover's robotic arm (instrument deployment device, upper centre) is poised to examine two holes that it drilled in the rock surface (circled) on Martian days 30 and 34 of the mission. The microscopic imager and spectrometers revealed that sulphate minerals are present in the rocks. These could only have formed in the presence of water, confirming that water was once found on Mars. Two of the rover's wheels are at lower right and left.

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