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Mars Rover Surprises Continue; Spirit, Too, Finds Hematite

close-up image taken by Spirit highlights the nodular nuggets that cover the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold."
This close-up image taken by Spirit highlights the nodular nuggets that cover the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold."

NASA/Cornell/USGS

500 x 500, 64.7KB
Spirit rolled up to a knobby rock just past where the "Columbia Hills" start to rise from the surrounding plain. It touched the rock with a mineral-identifying instrument at the tip of its robotic arm and detected hematite. Hematite identified from orbit was NASA's key reason for choosing Opportunity's landing site halfway around Mars from these hills within Gusev Crater.

More: JPL - Mars Rover Surprises Continue; Spirit, Too, Finds Hematite

Link: Cornell University - Mars Rover Mission Journal