Curiosity Rover to Examine Football-Sized Rock

Posted on September 19, 2012

Curiosity Jake Matijevic Rock

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has selected a football-sized rock to examine with its arm-mounted Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer and its mast-mounted, laser-zapping Chemistry and Camera Instrument. The rover will also take close-up photographs of the rock. Curiosity is currently 8 feet away from the rock. The rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. You can see a larger photo of the rock here.

NASA said in a release that he rock has been named "Jake Matijevic." Jacob Matijevic (mah-TEE-uh-vik) was the surface operations systems chief engineer for Mars Science Laboratory and the project's Curiosity rover. He passed away Aug. 20, at age 64.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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