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Mars Rover Photograph Shows Strange Object

PASADENA, Calif. (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.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.tietjens Rich Tietjens

    When do we get to see the shocking exposé about the Teapublican Congress and their radical ultra-right-wing unAmerican agenda? Remember, this is the Congress that has blocked passage of the Jobs Bill at least *EIGHT* times in not quite four years, during a period of economic distress created by the previous right-wing Administration. But I wouldn’t eexpect a bigot or a Faux News fan to be interested in the facts.

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