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October 10 2012

Mystery Mars Object is Curiosity's Litter


Depending on where you live, dropping litter out of your car window is a very unsavory habit -- at worst, it's a crime. But when you're in the business of dominating another planet, litter-dropping is the inevitable downside of doing awesome stuff in space.

Enter Curiosity: The one ton, nuclear-powered, laser-armed, six-wheeled rover. And now, unashamed interplanetary litterbug.

While we were being distracted by the Red Bull Stratos skydive attempt yesterday (that ended up being aborted), Curiosity was busy playing with a scoopful of Mars dirt. Although this particular sample won't be analyzed for science, it is being used to "clean" any terrestrial contaminants from the robotic arm-mounted scoop.

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