Does this NASA image show a ‘gateway’ and ‘wall’ on Mars?

An image taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover on May 7, 2022 showed “a nearby portal and wall that appears artificial.”

the context

While the image in question was an original image captured by a camera aboard NASA’s Curiosity spacecraft on May 7, 2022, the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Snopes that what some social media users had interpreted as a “walkway and a wall”, was actually a rocky crag. crack on the red planet.

reality check

A popular May 2022 post on Reddit claimed that NASA’s Mars was roaming Curiosity. Snap a photo of a so-called “gateway” and a “nearby seemingly artificial wall” on the Red Planet that was as suspicious as it looked.

This was because while something was filmed in the grainy black and white version of taking a photo, the image captured by the rover’s camera can be interpreted as resembling the shape of a doorway, as the Jet Propulsion The agency’s Laboratory (JPL) told Snopes that it was actually “a very, very magnified photo of a small crack in a rock.”

“Scientists on the team pointed out how small it is [the crevice] IS: Approximately 30cm wide by 45cm wide (11 by 17 inches), a JPL spokesperson said via email. “They said there were line fractures all the way through that hump, and that’s where a lot of the line fractures happen. “

The photo was taken by the mast (mastic) camera aboard the Curiosity rover, a system that uses fixed focal length multispectral imaging instrumentation to take ‘true color’ images of the Red Planet and beyond . The image for “The Door” was taken on May 7, 2022, which is also Sol 3466 – Solar Day 3466 on Mars, or Mars day.

The NASA Media Relations team also referred us to a publicly available digital file mosaic of rover photos as well. The piece was created by Neville Thompson, who is not affiliated with NASA, who showed the image content in question within the larger Martian interior.

neville thompson

The small “door” (slit) can be seen almost in the center, a little higher and a little to the left.

“Look? You can zoom with +/- on the right side of the screen. It’s very small and looks like… a crevice in the rock,” the speaker wrote.

Although we can’t say for sure if the Martians actually used small gates, NASA was certain that the “gate” in this case was just a small rocky crevice. So while Reddit showed an original image taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, the image did not show an artificial door or wall. As such, we have classified this claim as “false”.

Want more fact-checking on weird and funny Martian gossip? Check out these:


Bell III, James F, et al. “MasCam Instruments for the Mars Science Laboratory: Preflight, Calibration, Verification and Inflight Data Archiving.” Earth and Space Sciences, Vol. 4, no. 7, 2017, p.,

“Does this image show a crater that was drilled on Mars? Snopes.Com, Accessed May 11, 2022.

Nada Ali Ahmed 90210. “New: 05-2022 A formation on Mars that looks like a portal and a nearby wall looks like man-made. Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Martian rover. R/Interestingasfuck, May 11, 2022, “Sol 3466: Mastcam (Mastcam).” NASA Mars Exploration, Accessed May 11, 2022.

MSL 3466 MR. Accessed May 11, 2022.

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