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Curiosity discovers Martian pyramid


NASA's Curiosity rover is on a mission to explore the Martian surface for the next two years
NASA's Curiosity rover is on a mission to explore the Martian surface for the next two years

Staff writers

September 21, 2012 — On Curiosity's 43rd Martian day (Sept. 19 2012) the rover discovered this pyramid-shaped rock.

Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6 2012
Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6 2012

The rock is about 25 centimetres tall and 40 centimetres wide. 

NASA's rover team has gleaned the small pyramid to be a suitable target for the first use of Curiosity's contact instruments. 

The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of its drive yesterday.

The rock has been named "Jake Matijevic" commemorating Jake Matijevic (1947-2012). The 64-year-old was the surface operations systems chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the project's Curiosity rover.

He was also a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers (Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity). 

Curiosity's contact instruments are on a turret at the end of the rover's arm. They are the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (for reading a target's elemental composition) and the Mars Hand Imager (for close-up imaging). 


Images courtesy of NASA

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