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May 16 2013

Curiosity's 'hand' outstretched on Mars: Will humans ever shake it?

NASA's Curiosity rover is back at work in Yellowknife Bay, a rocky area inside Mars' Gale Crater and if it takes good care of itself, it just might still be at work when humans hit the Red Planet.

At least that's the sentiment voiced by Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, during this week's Humans to Mars Summit in Washington. "I anticipate the first astronaut we send can go and shake Curiosity's hand," he told Monday's audience at George Washington University. If that astronaut is able to come within hand-shaking distance, the gesture would serve as a thank-you for years of service by the nuclear-powered robot, Meyer said.

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