COSMIC SECRETS
The Enigmas on Mars 65
Rock Hounding on Mars
Pyroxene
Bounce Rock
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Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
A Colorful 'Bounce'

Bounce Rock is a football-sized primarily pyroxene rock found on Mars by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in April 2004. The rock was named for the fact that it was struck by Opportunity as the craft bounced to a stop during its landing stage.

Bounce Rock bears a striking resemblance to a class of meteorites found on Earth known as shergottites, that are believed to have originated from Mars.

This false-color composite of the rock dubbed "Bounce" shows the rock after the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drilled into it with its rock abrasion tool, or RAT.

The drilling of the 7-millimeter-deep (0.3-inch) hole generated a bright powder. The color in this image has been enhanced to show that these tailings are relatively blue when compared with the unaltered rock (to the human eye, the tailings would appear red).

SOURCE: NASA

'Bounce' Exposed
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Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
'Bounce' Exposed
Apr 09, 2004

This approximate true-color image, acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's panoramic camera, features the hole ground by the rover's rock abrasion tool into "Bounce" rock. The rock measures approximately 35 centimeters (14 inches) long and 10 centimeters (4 inches) high. The depression measures 6.44 millimeters (0.25 inch) deep and about 4.5 centimeters (1.7 inches) across. The grinding procedure took place on the rover's 66th sol on Mars and lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. A combination of limited solar power, added safety measures and the rock's jagged texture led the rock abrasion tool team to set more aggressive grinding parameters to ensure that the end result was a full circle, suitable for a thorough read from the rover's spectrometers.

Bounce's outer ring consists of the cuttings from the rock, pushed out by the brushes on the grinding instrument. The small impressions filled with red dust on the outer ring were caused by the instrument's contact mechanism, which serves to stabilize it while grinding.

This image was created using the panoramic camera's blue, green and red filters. 

SOURCE: NASA

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