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TechnologyCuriosity Rover Just Spotted This Super-Shiny Object on Mars

01:55  01 december  2018
01:55  01 december  2018 Source:   gizmodo.com

NASA commands the Mars Curiosity rover to switch 'brains'

  NASA commands the Mars Curiosity rover to switch 'brains' Curiosity has a headache but NASA neurosurgeons have stepped in to keep the car-sized robot operational.Since Sept. 15, the Curiosity rover, originally launched in 2012, has encountered a few technical issues. It's struggling to send back to Earth much of the science and engineering data it has collected. That small hiccup has seen engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory decide to switch to Curiosity's second brain.

NASA’s Curiosity rover has made a rather curious discovery on Mars . It’s bright, shiny , mysterious, and might (or might not) be a meteorite. NASA's Curiosity rover is the most technologically advanced rover ever built, equipped with 17 cameras and a robotic arm containing specialized tools

[ Mars Illusion Photos: Seeing Things on Mars ]. "In fact, it was found to be a very thin flake of rock, so we can all rest easy tonight — Curiosity has not Curiosity recently drilled a Pettegrove Point rock dubbed Stoer, and the rover has begun analyzing the snagged samples, Cooper wrote in the update.

An unusually smooth and reflective Martian rock has caught the attention of NASA scientists, prompting an investigation by the Curiosity rover.

With the spectacularly successful landing of the InSight probe on Mars earlier this week, our attention has understandably been diverted away from Curiosity, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012. While we’ve been gushing over InSight, the six-wheeled NASA rover has been working at Vera Rubin Ridge, investigating the Highfield outcrop, a unique patch of grey bedrock.

Curiosity Rover Is Back to Limited Science Operations on Mars

Curiosity Rover Is Back to Limited Science Operations on Mars NASA has had quite a bit on its plate recently between its Hubble Space Telescope entering safe mode, the prolonged silence from its Opportunity rover, and a technical issue with its Curiosity rover on Mars. 

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity photographed this odd object on Aug. Curiosity was tasked with determining if Gale has ever been capable of supporting microbial life. The rover quickly answered that question, finding that the crater's floor hosted a long-lasting lake-and-stream system billions of years

The latest Tweets from Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity). Your friendly neighborhood NASA Mars rover . Your friendly neighborhood NASA Mars rover . Exploring the Red Planet since 2012. Team headquartered at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory @NASAJPL.

Curiosity has been at the Highfield drill site before, but NASA’s mission controllers wanted to take a look at four previously detected rocks—including an unusually smooth rock that, in black and white at least, looks a bit like a chunk of gold.

Immediate suspicions are that the rock, dubbed Little Colonsay, is a meteorite, but NASA scientists won’t know for sure until Curiosity performs a chemical analysis. The rover’s ChemCam instrument, which consists of a camera, spectrograph, and laser, offers an on-the-spot chemistry lab.

That Curiosity may have stumbled upon a meteorite isn’t shocking. The rover has sniffed out several such objects over the course of its travels, including a huge metal meteorite in 2015 and a shiny nickel-iron meteorite the following year.

NASA is still holding out hope for the Mars Opportunity rover

NASA is still holding out hope for the Mars Opportunity rover This is like the end of WALL-E. Wake up little fella! Wake up!

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has photographed a shiny , metallic-looking object that bears a passing resemblance to a door handle or a hood ornament. The Curiosity rover has not stumbled onto evidence of an ancient civilization that took the family van to Olympus Mons for vacation, however.

When NASA's Curiosity rover found a shiny object on Mars last week, researchers believed it was just part of the rover . But now, the rover has found more bright objects in Mars ' soil, leading NASA officials to believe it is something native to the planet. NASA sent commands to Curiosity Monday to

Other interesting objects discovered by Curiosity include a seemingly out-of-place shard, a smooth, oddly shaped object that turned out to be a piece of plastic wrapper that fell from the rover, and a perfect-looking sphere determined to be the product of a natural geological process called concretion. Perhaps the weirdest incident happened in 2013, when Curiosity spotted rocks that bore a startling resemblance to a squirrel—a classic example of pareidolia, a kind of optical illusion in which faces, animals, or everyday objects are projected onto insignificant stimuli or mediums.

Anyhoo, the Curiosity rover will also investigate a rock called Flanders Moss, which earned its name owing to its dark-colored coating. Again, NASA won’t know more about this object until Curiosity analyzes a sample after drilling. Two other rocks, Forres and Eidon, will also be investigated before Curiosity bails on the Highfield site.

Sadly, Curiosity is the only mobile rover on Mars at the moment. Its compatriot, the Opportunity rover, has been out of commission since a dust storm forced it into hibernation mode, a sleep from which it’s been unable to awaken. NASA hasn’t declared the mission dead just quite yet, but we should know more about the status of Opportunity early next year.

[NASA JPL]

Mars getting 1st US visitor in years, a 3-legged geologist.
Mars is about to get its first U.S. visitor in years. NASA's three-legged, one-armed geologist known as InSight makes its grand entrance through the rose-tinted Martian skies on Monday. It will be the first American spacecraft to land since the Curiosity rover six years ago and the first dedicated to exploring underground. NASA is going with a tried-and-true method to get this mechanical miner to the surface of the red planet. Engine firings will slow its final descent and the spacecraft will plop down on its rigid legs, mimicking the landings of earlier successful missions.

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