NASA / GSFC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / GSFC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars Science Laboratory instrument. This is the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, that is fitted to NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity. SAM will be used to analyse organic compounds and gases in the Martian soil and atmosphere. The MSL was launched on 26th November 2011 and is due to land on Mars on 6th August 2012 on a mission to determine if Mars is, or was ever, able to support microbial life. Photographed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, USA.
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