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One Giant Scoop for Mankind
One Giant Scoop for Mankind

This image shows a "bite mark" where NASA's Curiosity rover scooped up some Martian soil. The first scoop sample was taken from the "Rocknest" patch of dust and sand on Oct. 7, 2012, the 61st sol, or Martian day, of operations. A third scoop sample was collected on Oct. 15, or Sol 69, and deposited into the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument on Oct. 17, or Sol 71.

This image was taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera. Scientists enhanced the color in this version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under lighting conditions on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain.

During the two-year prime mission of the Mars Science Laboratory Project, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 instruments to investigate whether areas in Gale Crater ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

Image Credit: NASA

Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator