NASA Mars rover discovers weird string-like object that goes viral

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As far as scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) know, there are not yet yarn factories on Mars. 

So, the image of what looks like a small Martian tumbleweed had some social media users asking questions.

The shots were taken on Tuesday, July 12, or Mars Day 495.

The Mars Perseverance rover acquired the photos using the onboard Front Right and Front Left Hazard Avoidance Camera A.

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NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image of the area in front of it using its onboard Front Right Hazard Avoidance Camera A. The image was acquired on July 12, 2022 (Sol 495), at the local mean solar time of 16:56:25.

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image of the area in front of it using its onboard Front Right Hazard Avoidance Camera A. The image was acquired on July 12, 2022 (Sol 495), at the local mean solar time of 16:56:25.
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

One was selected by public vote to be “Image of the Week” last week.

The popular theory, confirmed by a NASA spokesperson in an email to Gizmodo, is that the stringy clump is debris from the mission. 

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image of the area in front of it using its onboard Front Right Hazard Avoidance Camera A. The image was acquired on July 12, 2022 (Sol 495), at the local mean solar time of 15:41:43.

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image of the area in front of it using its onboard Front Right Hazard Avoidance Camera A. The image was acquired on July 12, 2022 (Sol 495), at the local mean solar time of 15:41:43.
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

It is not the first time “Percy” has captured an image of debris. 

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In June, the Perseverance team tweeted that they had spotted a piece of thermal blanket that may have come from the rover’s descent stage.

“That shiny bit of foil is part of a thermal blanket — a material used to control temperatures,” JPL wrote. “It’s a surprise finding this here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km away. Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?”

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Also on July 12, the team wrote the rover had collected its tenth rock core sample.

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.

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