Mars rover Curiosity captures crash landing
PASADENA, California(AFP) - Nasa said on Friday that a mysterious spot shown on a photograph sent back to Earth by the Mars rover Curiosity was the crash landing of its rocket stage.
Scientists and enthusiasts were furiously speculating since Monday about the nature of the small spot that looked like a dust cloud in a picture Curiosity snapped seconds after it parked in a crater.
The smudge disappeared in a photo taken 40 minutes later.
"It was a wonderful coincidence" that the car-sized rover was able to capture the impact, said engineer Steve Sell of the United States (US) space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managing the US$2.5 billion (S$3.1 billion) mission.