A Metallic Meteorite is Unearthed by the Curiosity Rover

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory program includes the Curiosity Rover which has been on Mars for ten years and 163 days and counting. It is the size of a regular vehicle and is intended to explore Mars’ Gale crater.

On January 28, 2023, MSL Curiosity discovered a magnificent metal meteorite on Mars that is composed primarily of iron and nickel. Cacao is the name given to the one-foot-long or thirty-centimeter-long meteorite.

Curiosity had its first glimpse of the shadow of Cacao at midnight on January 27, a Monday. However, it relocated itself the next day, allowing it to fully investigate it. 

Cacao embodies one of the rarest types of meteorites due to its iron and nickel content. Approximately 6% of all observed falls are more likely to survive transit through an atmosphere and are more able to withstand weathering, like how Mars’ atmosphere is. 

However, because of their unusual aesthetic appearance, they are overrepresented in collections.

Curiosity’s aim is not to explore for life on Mars, so traces of microbes, if they exist, are not part of its mission. However, Perseverance, the rovers’ cousin, performs a life quest and collects multitudes of specimens for future returns to Earth. Last February 2021, the rover landed in a separate Mars crater.

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