Curiosity starts analyzing rock called “Jake Matijevic”
At NASA decided to honor the engineer who was in charge of all systems of missions to mars that have been made so far, Jacob Matijevic, who died at age 64, shortly after he arrived at Mars Curiosity last month . Thus, baptized a rock with his name, which will now be analyzed by the robot.
Jake The rock is about 25 cm high and 40 cm wide at the base, so that’s not too big. Is uniform in color and is made of basalt, and looks like the first rock that the rover Spirit studied over eight years. But there’s nothing wrong with being a rock standard. “The science team has been interested in finding a rock that is relatively uniform in composition for comparison” between ChemCam (having the laser) and the Alpha Particle Spectrometer X-ray (APXS), said MSL project scientist, John Grotzinger to PhysOrg. The idea is to calibrate both instruments.
Grotzinger said most of the land in Gale crater where Curiosity landed, has a uniform soil with few rocks sticking occasionally. Jake is darker than the rest, and not so common in this area. Scientists believe they may have come to the crater Gale triggered by the impact of a meteorite in another area of Mars.
Link: Weird Mars rock has interesting back story (PhysOrg)Tags: analysis, ChemCam, Curiosity, Jake, mars, rock