Curiosity's soil experiments delayed by mysterious, tiny object

As a curious planet watches, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is continuing its mission on Mars. On Sunday, Curiosity collected its first sample of Martian soil. The sampling was not without some drama however, a bright object in the soil raised NASA's hackles, delaying the mission.

As highlighted in the above photo, the tiny, shiny object appears to be a small piece of Curiosity itself. In a sign of the times, our clearest picture of the situation comes from Twitter. Apparently, the situation isn't uncommon. Curiosity team member Sarah Milkovich tweeted to remind us that previous rovers began to lose bits and pieces as their missions progressed, as well. Her assertion didn't do much to comfort fan favorite @SarcasticRover, who tweeted, "Did anyone lose an earring on Mars? Because I may have found it. Or else I'm falling apart. But let's hope earring."

The hullabaloo over the piece of materiel is warranted. The Curiosity team on Earth has long been concerned about the integrity of Curiosity's onboard chemistry labs. The integrity of which would be compromised were a piece of debris to make its way into the experiments. While nothing is confirmed yet, NASA is taking a cautious approach to its $2.5 billion baby.

Sarah Milkovich on Twitter and SarcasticRover, via CosmicLog

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