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What is the cylinder on the Martian surface in this image taken by the Viking 2 lander?

viking 2 image with cylinder

It stands out in most images of the martian surface, including https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_2#/media/File:Viking_Lander_2_Camera_1_NOON_HIGH_RESOLUTION_COLOR_MOSAIC.jpg

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  • $\begingroup$ Test sample? Engine Bell? landing tank? Good question @foobarbecue $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 6:13

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It is a protective shroud for the surface sampler instrument, which was ejected after landing.

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