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Object on Mars Ground May Be Piece Of Curiosity Rover

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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.
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This image was taken during the mission's 61st Martian day, or sol (Oct. 7, 2012), the same sol as the first scooping. After examining Sol 61 imaging, the rover team decided to refrain from using the arm on Sol 62 (Oct. 8). Instead, the rover was instructed to acquire additional imaging of the bright object, on Sol 62, to aid the team in assessing possible impact, if any, to sampling activities.
For scale, the scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide, 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Checking a Bright Object on the Ground

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.
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)


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