Google+ Mars Travel: Mars Photo of the Day - 26 Sep 2012

Mars Photo of the Day - 26 Sep 2012

Today's image of Mars is of the first rock examined in earnest by Mars Science Laboratory, Jake Matijevik. The odd, 25cm tall pyramid shaped rock is named after the late surface operations systems chief engineer, who passed away on 20 Aug 2012. He had worked on all three other rovers, Sojourner, Spirit,  and Opportunity

The rock Jake was used to test and calibrate some of Mars Science Laboratory's many tools, including the laser attached to the rover's ChemCam instrument, which determines the rocks chemical composition by analyzing the vaporized particles. 

On 24 Sep 2012 MSL Curiosity finished up it's examination of Jake and began its longest drive thus far on the Mars, 42 meters. Over the next few days and weeks, scientists hope to test the rest of Curiosity's instruments, including it's scooping system and drill, which scientists hope will give them unprecedented insight into the composition of surface materials on Mars, as well as material that may lie right below the surface. 


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