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从火星来到地球的岩石在60万年后又回了火星

Rock from Mars heads home after 600,000 years on Earth

A small piece of rock will be hurled into space this week on one of the strangest interplanetary voyages ever attempted. A tiny piece of Martian basalt the size of a coin will be launched on board a US robot probe on Thursday and propelled towards the red planet on a seven-month journey to its home world.

一小块岩石将在本周被送往太空,而这可能是有史以来最奇怪的星际旅行之一。

一枚像硬币大小的火星玄武岩碎片将于周四在美国机器人探测器上发射,并在七个月的旅程中朝着这颗红色星球推进。

This extraordinary odyssey, the interplanetary equivalent of sending coals to Newcastle, will form a key part of Nasa’s forthcoming Mars 2020 expedition. Space engineers say the rock – which has been donated by the Natural History Museum in London – will be used to calibrate detectors on board the robot rover Perseverance after it lands and begins its search for signs of past life on the planet.

这一相当于向纽卡斯尔送煤的冒险之旅,将成为美国宇航局即将进行的火星2020远征的重要组成部分。太空工程师称,这块石头由伦敦自然历史博物馆捐赠,它将在“毅力”号机器人着陆并开始寻找火星上的生命迹象后,被用于校准探测器。

翻译:STARSET Mirror

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