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Object likely benign plastic from Curiosity rover

Date:
October 10, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
Curiosity's main activity in the 62nd sol of the mission (Oct. 8, 2012) was to image a small, bright object on the ground using the Remote Micro-Imager of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. The rover team's assessment is that the bright object is something from the rover, not Martian material. It appears to be a shred of plastic material, likely benign, but it has not been definitively identified.

View of Curiosity's First Scoop Also Shows Bright Object: This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows a scoop full of sand and dust lifted by the rover's first use of the scoop on its robotic arm. In the foreground, near the bottom of the image, a bright object is visible on the ground. The object might be a piece of rover hardware. For scale, the scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide, 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity's main activity in the 62nd sol of the mission (Oct. 8, 2012) was to image a small, bright object on the ground using the Remote Micro-Imager of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument.

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The rover team's assessment is that the bright object is something from the rover, not Martian material. It appears to be a shred of plastic material, likely benign, but it has not been definitively identified.

To proceed cautiously, the team is continuing the investigation for another day before deciding whether to resume processing of the sample in the scoop. Plans include imaging of surroundings with the Mastcam.

A sample of sand and dust scooped up on Sol 61 remains in the scoop. Plans to transfer it from the scoop into other chambers of the sample-processing device were postponed as a precaution during planning for Sol 62 after the small, bright object was detected in an image from the Mast Camera (Mastcam).

A Sol 62 raw image from ChemCam, at http://1.usa.gov/R1fZHt, shows the object in question just to left of center of the image.

Sol 62, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, will end at 12:23 a.m. Oct. 9, PDT (3:23 a.m., EDT).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Object likely benign plastic from Curiosity rover." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010103423.htm>.
NASA. (2012, October 10). Object likely benign plastic from Curiosity rover. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010103423.htm
NASA. "Object likely benign plastic from Curiosity rover." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010103423.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

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