Mars rover Curiosity makes first scoop, detects bright object

NASA officials say the Curiosity rover has made its first scoop of the surface of planet Mars and has detected a bright object on the ground.
NASA officials said the bright object the Mars rover found might be a part of the six-wheeled rover, but added they won't scoop more from until they determine that. (JPL-Caltech/NASA/Associated Press)

NASA officials say the Curiosity rover has made its first scoop of the surface of planet Mars and has detected a bright object on the ground.  

Officials said in a news release Monday that they suspect the object might be a part of the six-wheeled rover, but they won't sample or scoop anymore until they figure out what it is.

The Curiosity has already beamed back pictures of bedrock that suggest a fast-moving stream once flowed on the planet.

The rover landed Aug. 5 and is on a two-year, $2.5 billion mission to study whether microbial life could have existed on Mars in the past. 

Today's Mars is a frozen desert, but previous geological studies suggest it was once warmer and wetter