Picture of the Day: Mars Rover Examines 'Yuri Gagarin' Rock

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This image from 2005 was recently unearthed by NASA to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic spaceflight. Informally named 'Gagarin' by the team behind NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the rock shows damage done by the rover's rock abrasion tool. "This false-color image shows the circular mark created where the tool exposed the interior of the rock Gagarin at a target called 'Yuri,'" NASA explained. "The circle is about 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) in diameter. Gagarin is at the edge of a highly eroded, small crater that was informally named Vostok for the spacecraft that carrier Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in the first human spaceflight, on April 12, 1961."

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Image: NASA.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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