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Spacecraft: Surface Operations: Instruments

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The Microscopic Imager

The Microscopic Imager is a combination of a microscope and a CCD camera that will provide information on the small-scale features of Martian rocks and soils. It will complement the findings of other science instruments by producing close-up views of surface materials. Some of those materials will be in their natural state, while others may be views of fresh surfaces exposed by the Rock Abrasion Tool.


Microscopic imaging will be used to analyze the size and shape of grains in sedimentary rocks, which is important for identifying whether water may have existed in the planet's past.

The Microscopic Imager is located on the arm of the rover. Its field of view is 1024 x 1024 pixels in size and it has a single, broad-band filter so imaging is in black and white.