Curiosity Rover Snaps Pic of 'Martian Flower'?
NASA Rep says it 'appears to be part of the rock'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2013 3:33 PM CST
Updated Jan 6, 2013 4:00 PM CST
A "Martian Flower"?   (Above Top Secret)

(Newser) – So, can flowers grow at -65 Fahrenheit? That was apparently the belief of one website reader after the Curiosity rover sent back a photo of a hard-to-identify, light-colored object on Mars, reports. Noting its reflection of sunlight, "translucent appearance," and "irregular confirmation (like pistils)," the reader on Above Top Secret dubbed it a "Martian Flower." Other readers likened it to a crystal, quartz rock, "part of the rover," and "the ring I lost years ago. I wondered where it had go to!"

So NBC's Alan Boyle went to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for answers. He asked whether the "flower" might be a broken part of Curiosity, as was another tiny, bright object the rover spotted in October. "That appears to be part of the rock, not debris from the spacecraft," said a spokesperson. That's all for now—but Boyle concludes that if flowers really are growing on Mars, "you'll know it's time to cue up the 'X-Files' theme. Either way, the truth is out there."

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Jan 8, 2013 4:52 PM CST
And here comes the earthling's rover (2012) with its earth contaminated drill bit (it didn't get sterilized, everything else on the rover did but it didn't). So if it was another life form it is probably as doomed as giving it a smallpox laden blanket. That someone got and continues to get a government paycheck no less (with all its benefits) for NOT making sure that the rover was completely sterile says a lot about our space program. Higgeldy-piggedly treatment of the cosmos is a stamp of human incompetence even when they are tasked with and are paid well to do the job of protecting possible alien life forms. I hope it is not a religious putsch.
Jan 7, 2013 7:43 PM CST
Your post reminds me of that cartoon years back in the LA weekly, the angriest dog in the world. Grrrrr was all he did in every panel while straining at his chain. You also make me think of Treasure of the Sierra Madre, "Knowledge? We don't need no stinking knowledge".
Jan 7, 2013 11:28 AM CST
What knowledge do we expect to gain from these expeditions? That there are microbes on Mars? Well so what? What would that change? A lot of worthwhile science goes unfunded because NASA sucks up so much money.