Mars Curiosity

October 4, 2012 - 6:35 PM
This handout image provided by NASA, taken Sept. 28, 2012, is a mosaic of images taken by the telephoto right-eye camera of the Mast Camera before the rover arrived at Rocknest. Mars Curiosity is about to sip its initial taste of the red planet's sand. But first, NASA's rover has to play bartender to make sure the dry dust is shaken, not stirred.The rover's scoop will dig into the sand Saturday. Then the action starts. Mission sampling chief Daniel Limonadi said the end of the rover's arm will shake vigorously and noisily for eight hours, like a Martian martini mixer gone mad. That will vibrate the fine dust grains through the rover chemical testing system to cleanse it of unwanted residual Earth grease. (AP Photo/NASA)