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Mysterious stone 'rawled up' to Mars Rover Opportunity
by Karina Naba
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jan 21, 2014

There is dust on the other side of the stone, which is why it cannot be a newly fallen fragment of a meteorite. Photo courtesy

A strange black and white stone has appeared out of nowhere near the Opportunity Mars Rover, which has not moved for more than a month already. The "guest" was noticed in the photos made by the Mars Rover by Vitaliy Egorov, a famous Russian "Martianologist blogger". (PHOTO)

The Mars Rover Opportunity has been working on Mars for almost 10 years now - since January 24, 2004. At present, the Rover is waiting out the Martian winter; it stands in Solander Point next to the Endeavour crater and has not moved since the end of November. The Rover only moves his manipulator.

However, as Egorov has found, a "guest" has made an appearance near the Mars Rover: a stone, which was not seen in the picture on the 3,536th Sol (Martian day) since the beginning of the mission, turned out to be in plain view on the 3,537th Sol.

The blogger notes that one side of the stone is not covered with dust and glitters like some white mineral, but coal-black parts of unknown origin are visible on it.

There is dust on the other side of the stone, which is why it cannot be a newly fallen fragment of a meteorite.

Egorov believes that the Rover could pick off the stone while driving, but all the time it remained invisible

"It was lying somewhere under the body of the Rover not being observed by the cameras, and on the 3,537th Sol, the Rover's "hand" hooked it and threw forward," he writes in his blog on LiveJournal.

This is not the first discovery in the field of Martianology made by Egorov. Earlier, he and the other cosmonautics buffs from the "Curiosity, the Mars Rover" group on the social network Vkontakte, conceivably found the place of landing of the Soviet Mars-3 unmanned spacecraft, which could not be found by specialists for a long time

In 2012-2013, Egorov and his virtual companions made an analysis of a high resolution photograph of the supposed landing zone of the station made in 2007 by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

They managed to find objects, which supposedly are elements of Mars-3, such as a parachute, a soft landing engine and an aerodynamic brake screen.

Source: Voice of Russia


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