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This article presents the chemical composition of six soils and five rocks at the Ares Vallis landing site obtained by the alpha proton x-ray spectrometer on board the rover of the Mars Pathfinder mission. The analyzed rocks were compositionally similar to each other, but were unexpectedly high in silica and potassium and low in magnesium compared to previously studied Martian soils and meteorites. The analyzed rocks are similar in composition to terrestrial andesites and close to the mean composition of Earth's crust. Soil analyses appear similar to those determined by the Viking missions.
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