facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Mars rover photograph shows strange object

Oct. 10, 2012 at 6:32 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A mysterious object photographed by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is a "shred of plastic material, likely benign," probably shed by the rover, engineers say.

The bright object showed up on photos sent to Earth by the rover as it began operations to scoop up some martian soil for analysis, scientists said.

"Yeah, so last night was crazy. When we spotted the object near the rover, we had to quickly come up with a totally new plan," Keri Bean, a meteorologist on the rover team, tweeted Monday.

The rover's scooping operations were temporarily suspended while engineers determined if the fallen object would interfere with sampling activities, Wired magazine reported.

A close-up photo taken with one of the rover's many cameras showed the object was likely a piece of plastic, though it has still not been definitively identified, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said.

Previous Mars missions including the Mars Phoenix Lander and the Opportunity rover have shed small bits and pieces including loose screws, NASA said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Psychedelic mushrooms enable a hyperconnected brain Psychedelic mushrooms enable a hyperconnected brain
2
Study: Earth has had water since birth of solar system Study: Earth has had water since birth of solar system
3
Google working on pill to detect cancer Google working on pill to detect cancer
4
SpaceX may soon start landing rockets on a platform after they've left Earth SpaceX may soon start landing rockets on a platform after they've left Earth
5
Why NASA is watching Ebola Why NASA is watching Ebola
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback