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This image shows the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity with the first rock touched by an instrument on the arm.
09.24.2012

Curiosity's Rock-Contact Science Begins

This image shows the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity with the first rock touched by an instrument on the arm. The rover's right Navigation Camera (Navcam) took this image during the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Sept. 22, 2012). On that sol, the rover placed the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument onto the pyramid-shaped rock to assess what chemical elements were present in the rock. The rock is named "Jake Matijevic" in commemoration of influential Mars-rover engineer Jacob Matijevic (1947-2012).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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