Mysterious Rock Appears Next To Opportunity Rover, Baffles NASA

Friday, 17 January 2014 - 11:50AM
Space
Mars
Astronomy
Friday, 17 January 2014 - 11:50AM
Mysterious Rock Appears Next To Opportunity Rover, Baffles NASA

NASA scientists are completely baffled by a mysterious rock that has appeared, out of nowhere, next to NASA's Opportunity Rover. The object appeared in front of the hi-tech rover earlier this week and the Opportunity team have no idea where it came from or how it got there.

 

Cornell University's Steve Squyres told Discovery of the team's shock at finding the rock:

 

"It's about the size of a jelly doughnut. It was a total surprise, we were like 'wait a second, that wasn't there before, it can't be right. Oh my God! It wasn't there before!' We were absolutely startled."

 

The rock has taken the Opportunity team by such surprise that they are still working on theories as to how it got there. They are however working on a theory that links the rock with the failure of Opportunity's front-right steering actuator which is currently limiting the rover's mobility.

 

The most likely explanation is that the rock was kicked up by the Opportunity's movements, but whatever the cause of its appearance, this little rock has managed to fluster the seemingly unflappable experts behind the world's most advanced rover. Now over their shock, the Opportunity team have begun investigating the rock and hope that they can solve the mystery with a matter of days.

Science
NASA
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Mars
Astronomy