One mystery the CheMin will (fingers crossed!) be solving: What, exactly, is the bright-white object Curiosity revealed as it scooped up samples of brownish-red sand? NASA scientists at first were concerned that the shiny anomaly might be a part of Curiosity itself, a bit of earthly material that dislodged as the rover has bumped its way across the rocky Martian landscape. (A couple weeks ago, those same scientists confirmed that another mysterious, shiny object was in fact a bit of plastic that had come loose from Curiosity’s body.) But NASA has now confirmed that the mystery object is, indeed, all-Martian.
Which makes you wonder: Um, what is it?