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October 19 2012
NASA’s Curiosity rover took three scoops from a small Martian sand dune and found several bright particles in the soil. Scientists think these are unrelated to the odd bright object that Curiosity saw last week, which turned out to be plastic that fell from the probe, and are probably indigenous Martian mineral flecks.
Curiosity has sat for several weeks at an area called Rocknest, where its job has been to sample the Martian soil, practicing using its scoop and analysis instruments. The plan was to take three scoops and send the sand through the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) tool to clean it of any material that may have hitchhiked from Earth.
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