|What has the Opportunity rover found on Mars?
While traversing a vast empty plain in 2005 in
Meridiani Planum, one of Earth's
rolling robots on Mars
found a surprise when visiting the location of its own
metallic heat shield discarded last year during
The surprise is the rock visible on the lower left,
found to be made mostly of dense metals
cone-shaped object behind it -- and the
on the right -- are parts of Opportunity's jettisoned heat shield.
Smaller shield debris is also visible.
Scientists do not think that the
"Heat Shield Rock" originated on
but rather is likely an
ancient metallic meteorite.
In hindsight, finding a
in a vast empty dust plain on
Mars might be considered similar to
Earth meteorites found on the vast empty ice plains of
The finding raises speculations about the general abundance of
rocks on Mars that have
fallen there from outer space.
Exploration Rover Mission,