November 23, 2014
The first rock nuzzled by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is turning out to be a bit more unusual than scientists thought it would be.
Curiosity used its robot arm to touch at a football-sized pyramid-shaped rock for the first time two weeks ago. It also shot the rock dozens of times with a laser.
The results surprised scientists. They said Thursday that it is not like other rocks seen on Mars. It has more sodium and potassium.
Scientist Edward Stolper said the rock is more like rare volcanic rocks seen on Earth in places like Hawaii. Those rocks are formed under high pressure, deep underground and once contained water.
Scientists don't know how old the Martian rock is.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.