A device with six mechanical legs, the hexapod is a critical part of the PIXL instrument aboard NASAs Perseverance Mars rover. The hexapod allows PIXL to make slow, precise movements to get closer to and point at specific parts of a rocks surface.

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A device with six mechanical legs, the hexapod is a critical part of the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), one of the instruments aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover. The hexapod allows PIXL to make slow, precise movements to get closer to and point at specific parts of a rock's surface in order for the instrument to use its X-ray to discover where — and in what quantity — chemicals are distributed there. This GIF has been considerably sped up to show how the hexapod moves.

Both PIXL and Perseverance were built and are operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.

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