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NASA の火星探査車キュリオシティは、ミッション開始 3,800 回目の火星日 (ソル) にあたる 2023 年 4 月 15 日に、火星探査機を使用して、本の開いたページのように見える「テラ ファーメ」という愛称の岩のクローズ アップ ビューを撮影しました。ロボット アームの端にあるハンド レンズ イメージャ (MAHLI)。 岩の直径は約1インチ(2.5センチメートル)です。 クレジット: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

3,800 ソル目では、[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover photographed a book-like rock, “Terra Firme,” a result of water depositing harder minerals and wind erosion shaping it over time.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover took this close-up view of a rock nicknamed “Terra Firme” that looks like the open pages of a book, on April 15, 2023, the 3,800th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, using the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the end of its robotic arm. The rock is about an inch across (2.5 centimeters).

Rocks with unusual shapes are common on Mars, and often were formed by water seeping through cracks in a rock in the ancient past, bringing harder minerals along with them. After eons of being sand-blasted by the wind, softer rock is carved away and the harder materials are all that’s left.

NASA Curiosity Mars Rover Header

Curiosity set out to answer the question: Did Mars ever have the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes? Early in its mission, Curiosity’s scientific tools found chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars. It continues to explore the rock record from a time when Mars could have been home to microbial life. Credit: NASA

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is a car-sized, mobile laboratory that was launched in November 2011 and successfully landed on Mars in August 2012. It is part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, designed to explore the Gale Crater on Mars and analyze its climate, geology, and the potential for past and present habitability. Equipped with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, including cameras, spectrometers, and sensors, Curiosity has been conducting experiments and collecting data to help scientists understand the planet’s history and evolution. Its most significant discoveries include evidence of ancient riverbeds and the presence of organic molecules, which suggest the possibility that Mars once harbored microbial life.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, leads the Curiosity mission. Curiosity took the selfie using a camera called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the end of its robotic arm. MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego.


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