Mars rover finds a mystery object


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The Independent Online

NASA says the Curiosity rover has detected a bright object on the surface of Mars.

Officials suspect the object might be a part of the vehicle, but they won't sample or scoop any more until they figure out what it is.

"The rover team decided to refrain from using the rover's robotic arm on 8 October due to the detection of a bright object on the ground that might be a piece from the rover," NASA said.

"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."

Curiosity has already beamed back pictures of bedrock that suggest a fast-moving stream once flowed on the planet. The rover landed on 5 August and is on a two-year, $2.5bn mission to study whether microbial life could have existed on Mars.

Today's the planet is a frozen desert, but previous geological studies suggest it was once warmer and wetter. AP