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Arm in motion

The arm of a Mars Exploration Rover can do a lot more than just reach out and touch something.
The Mars Exploration Rover carries an armload of instruments designed to poke, image, and explore the surface of Mars. With a length similar to that of a human arm and significantly greater flexibility, the arm can position any of its four instruments on rocks or on calibration targets. Arm instruments include a Rock Abrasion Tool that acts like a small drill, two spectrometers that work together to determine the composition of rocks and soils, and a microscopic imager that allows up-close imagi...

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