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Mars rover finds 'bright object'
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 09, 2012

NASA's Curiosity rover has uncovered a "bright object" in the red soil of Mars that might be a part of the robotic explorer that broke off, the US space agency said.

"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," NASA said Monday in a statement.

"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."

The rover had parked at a sand pit late last week, where it was to scoop up soil in order to clean and test its geological sampling hardware.

Curiosity is on a two-year mission to explore the Red Planet and learn whether conditions there might have been able to support life in the past.

The $2.5 billion craft landed in Gale Crater on August 6, opening a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration.

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NASA Mars Curiosity Rover Prepares to Study Martian Soil
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 08, 2012
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 08, 2012 NASA's Curiosity rover is in a position on Mars where scientists and engineers can begin preparing the rover to take its first scoop of soil for analysis. Curiosity is the centerpiece of the two-year Mars Science Laboratory mission. The rover's ability to put soil samples into analytical instruments is central to assessing whether its present location on Mar ... read more

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