“Iron-nickel meteorites are a common class of space rocks found on Earth, and previous examples have been found on Mars, but Egg Rock is the first on Mars to be examined with a laser-firing spectrometer,” the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement.
Curiosity was launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral in 2011 and landed in Gale Crater in 2012.
“Egg Rock was found along the rover’s path up a layer of lower Mount Sharp, where sedimentary rocks hold records of ancient lakebed environments on Mars,” the JPL statement continued. “The main science goal for Curiosity’s second extended mission, which began last month, is to investigate how ancient environmental conditions changed over time.
“The mission has already determined that this region once offered conditions favorable for microbial life, if any life ever existed on Mars.”