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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Curiosity Rover Finds Rock Type That’s Never Been Seen on Mars


The rock, a highly fractionated alkalic rock type, is relatively well known to geologists since it is common in rift zones on Earth, such as volcanoes of the Hawaiian Islands.

“This is a rock type which had not been seen before” by previous Mars rovers including Spirit and Opportunity, said Roger Weins, principle investigator for Curiosity’s ChemCam instrument, during a NASA press conference Oct. 11. It forms under relatively high pressure and often in the presence of water. While Curiosity is mostly focused on sedimentary rocks that could indicate the presence of past conditions for life, Matijevic is an igneous rock that likely formed about 5 miles under the Martian surface.

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