NASA: Mars rover snapped pic of rocket stage crashSpace enthusiasts have been abuzz for days over whether the Mars rover Curiosity captured an extraterrestrial crash. On Friday, NASA declared the mystery solved.Seconds after the car-size rover parked its six wheels in an ancient crater, a tiny camera under the chassis snapped a picture revealing a smudge on the horizon. The feature disappeared in a later photo.Was it dirt on the camera lens or a spinning dust devil? It turned out Curiosity spotted the aftermath of its rocket-powered backpack crash-landing in the distance.It “was an amazing coincidence that we were able to catch this impact,” said engineer Steve Sell of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the $2.5 billion mission.Photo Credit: (NASA/AP)

NASA: Mars rover snapped pic of rocket stage crash

Space enthusiasts have been abuzz for days over whether the Mars rover Curiosity captured an extraterrestrial crash. On Friday, NASA declared the mystery solved.

Seconds after the car-size rover parked its six wheels in an ancient crater, a tiny camera under the chassis snapped a picture revealing a smudge on the horizon. The feature disappeared in a later photo.

Was it dirt on the camera lens or a spinning dust devil? It turned out Curiosity spotted the aftermath of its rocket-powered backpack crash-landing in the distance.

It “was an amazing coincidence that we were able to catch this impact,” said engineer Steve Sell of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the $2.5 billion mission.

Photo Credit: (NASA/AP)