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Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Hand Lens Imager

The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is a new device that allows earthbound geologists to see martian features smaller than the diameter of a human hair, including close-up views of minerals, textures and structures in martian rocks and the surface layer of rocky debris and dust. If scientists are able to see the fine detail of martian rocks and soil, they can better predict their formation and whether or not their environment was ripe for life. MAHLI is an evolutionary advancement of the Mars Exploration Rover microscopic imager (MI), providing higher resolution imagery as well as less complex operations. The highest resolution represents a 2.4 times improvement over Spirit and Opportunity's capabilities.