Mars Curiosity roves toward rock named in honor of JPL engineer Matijevic

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The drive by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity during the mission's 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. The rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 43rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012).


The Mars Rover Curiosity will soon start doing its first up-close science experiments on a Martian rock. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has named the rock “Jake Matijevic," after a JPL engineer who recently died.

Richard Cook is project manager for the current Mars Science Laboratory mission.

““He was a very instrumental rover engineer. He worked on a number of projects including led the Sojourner Rover team, worked on Spirit and Opportunity for a number of years."

Matijevic also worked on the Mars Science Laboratory mission He was 64 years old. An obituary in the Chicago Tribune said the JPL engineer died after a lifelong battle with asthma and other respiratory ailments.

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