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Mars' Shiny Particles: Curiosity Rover Digs Up Unidentified MARTIAN Material !!
10-20-2012, 10:22 AM
Post: #1
Exclamation Mars' Shiny Particles: Curiosity Rover Digs Up Unidentified MARTIAN Material !!
By: Staff
Published: 10/18/2012 10:14 AM EDT on
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has found some more bright stuff on the Red Planet, scientists say.

[Image: r-SHINY-PARTICLE-MARS-large570.jpg?7]

The Curiosity rover had dumped out a recent sample of Mars dirt after spotting shiny particles inside the hole dug by the shovel-like scoop on its robotic arm. Mission scientists were concerned that the bright material might be debris from the rover itself, so they ordered Curiosity to toss the Mars sample as a safety precaution, mission managers said in a statement.

As it turns out, the bright particles are actual Martian in origin, they added.

Curiosity is scooping up Mars dirt in a spot called "Rocknest" in preparation to deliver the first samples to a pair of instruments on its car-size body. The rover scooped its first Mars sample on Oct. 7, but further work was delayed when the rover's cameras spotted a bright object —likely a piece of plastic —on the ground in the area.

Scientists had cleared Curiosity to start scooping Mars dirt again ahead of the first sample study when they spotted the new bright material. Curiosity's initial Mars dirt scoops are designed to clean the rover's sampling system...

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