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PIA16225

Curiosity Finds…SOMETHING…on Martian Surface

9 Oct , 2012

by

While scooping its first samples of Martian soil, NASA’s Curiosity rover captured the image above, which shows what seems to be a small, seemingly metallic sliver or chip of… something… resting on the ground. Is it a piece of the rover? Or some other discarded fleck of the MSL descent mechanisms? Or perhaps an exotic Martian pebble of some sort? Nobody knows for sure yet, but needless to say the soil samples have taken a back seat to this new finding for the time being.

See a ChemCam image of the object below.

ChemCam shot of a recently spotted unknown object on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The ChemCam image, although monochrome, reveals some interesting and curiously organic-looking edges on the object… although it could be a bit of something that came loose from the rover itself. Perhaps a bit of plastic wrap or tape from a cable? Or a flake of metal from the back shell?

Or, as MSNBC’s Alan Boyle jokingly (?) suggested, another piece of “Martian macaroni”?

The MSL mission page states:

Curiosity’s first scooping activity appeared to go well on Oct. 7. Subsequently, the rover team decided to refrain from using the rover’s robotic arm on Oct. 8 due to the detection of a bright object on the ground that might be a piece from the rover. Instead of arm activities during the 62nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission, Curiosity is acquiring additional imaging of the object to aid the team in identifying the object and assessing possible impact, if any, to sampling activities.

Stay tuned for more info on this intriguing news as it’s available!

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

P.S. Of course, the now-famous “Sarcastic Rover” had something to say about it on Twitter:

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Andres Minas
Guest
Andres Minas
October 9, 2012 12:52 AM

…or an insect that somehow got in while the robot was in training maneuver on Earth soil.

Arthür Täylør
Guest
Arthür Täylør
October 9, 2012 1:20 AM

Do you honestly think that could happen? Blimey. (////,)

Andres Minas
Guest
Andres Minas
October 9, 2012 5:01 AM

“…curiously organic-looking on the edges on the object”, the article said.

For clarity maybe, I could have added smiley at the end of my first comment smile

Dominique Willems
Guest
October 9, 2012 12:58 AM

When you look at the scoop, it appears that it is chipped in one corner, kind of matching the piece of metal. Just a guess.

Jason Major
Guest
October 9, 2012 4:24 AM

It does kinda look like that doesn’t it!

John Stock
Guest
October 9, 2012 1:32 AM

This will be on ATS within seconds with some strange and fantastical UFO / Alien / NWO conspiracy theory lol

Isobel Dandy
Guest
Isobel Dandy
October 9, 2012 10:17 AM

More like GodlikeProductions.com wink

Doc M
Guest
October 9, 2012 1:40 AM

It looks like a sheared-off clip / staple from a cable. Although I like the ‘lost earring’ theory . . .

Tom Watson
Guest
October 9, 2012 2:03 AM

oh god… the nutters are going to spazz out on this…

Amanda Barott
Guest
Amanda Barott
October 9, 2012 2:15 AM

Kent West
Guest
Kent West
October 9, 2012 2:18 AM

It’s a street-light!

Pedro Leonardo Romera
Guest
October 9, 2012 2:44 AM

tell me about that filter…

Kevin Frushour
Guest
October 9, 2012 4:59 AM

Okay, that’s interesting. I’m assuming in the end it will be innocuous – but it’s certainly weird and merits closer scrutiny.

Wan Ali Akashah
Guest
October 9, 2012 5:57 AM

Look closely, is’t chewing gum?

Michael Henley
Guest
Michael Henley
October 9, 2012 6:01 AM

maybe it’s a Alien Nano-bot!

Cochuyt Joeri
Guest
October 9, 2012 6:32 AM

ha, there it is…

Dav_Daddy
Member
October 9, 2012 6:35 AM

If only it could turn out to be some kind of Martian bling. I bet that we’d get a manned mission their b4 2035 then!

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
October 9, 2012 6:37 AM

It isn’t the first craft to go to pieces.

More seriously, an 8 g shaking would get rid of remaining scrap in the mechanisms.

Tony Mach
Member
Tony Mach
October 9, 2012 8:41 AM

A piece of Mars Climate Orbiter.

R.K.
Guest
R.K.
October 9, 2012 3:47 AM

You Know? There is something just not right with that photo!! It is like a studio type photo; like it is a artificial type of photo from a studio/lab sort of! It does “not” appear real from Mars! The sand is tooooo uniform like it’s been raked, etc!

SteveZodiac
Member
SteveZodiac
October 9, 2012 9:35 AM

Maybe it’s a piece of disintegrated Russian Mars lander

FlutterDoo
Guest
FlutterDoo
October 9, 2012 2:02 PM

Are we landing everything in the same place? It’s a freaking planet, how lucky could we get that we find our own stuff from years ago?

seriously
Guest
seriously
October 9, 2012 4:23 PM

Yes, everything lands in much the same place. All of the mars landers have aimed for the same basin on mars. Although they’ve gotten a lot more accurate about landing over time.

squidgeny
Member
squidgeny
October 11, 2012 11:58 AM

That’s just a flat-out lie, as can be seen by looking at a map of Mars landings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_landing

Raimo Kangasniemi
Guest
Raimo Kangasniemi
October 9, 2012 7:44 PM

No we are not. If it’s from Earth, it’s from Curiosity or it’s landing system.

Alanator
Member
Alanator
October 11, 2012 9:19 PM

There were some missions years ago, that disappeared off the radar! Was referred to as the Mars curse! Maybe this is a piece of history!

PeterFlac
Guest
PeterFlac
October 9, 2012 6:28 PM

My first thought as well

Lin Group
Guest
Lin Group
October 9, 2012 9:36 AM

Looks like perry the platypus to me

Bill Chen
Guest
October 9, 2012 9:40 AM

it sounds nice

Fahad
Guest
Fahad
October 9, 2012 4:42 AM

I think Transformers live there.

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