10 Years On Mars: What Spirit & Opportunity Discovered
NASA's twin rovers have spent a decade on the red planet, using their scientific instruments and engineering cameras to explore rocks and soil.
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Each of the rovers was equipped with tools that allows it to explore the Red Planet. The panoramic camera (Pancam) is used to capture high-resolution color images with a stereoscopic camera pair that can rotate. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) analyzes infrared light to identify rock-forming minerals. It also measures atmospheric temperatures. The rock abrasion tool (RAT) is used to brush and grind rocks. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) is used to measure the amount of chemical elements in rocks and soils. The Mossbauer spectrometer (MB) measures iron-bearing mineralogy of rocks and soils. The microscopic imager (MI) takes high-resolution images of the planet's small-scale features.
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