“Astrobiologist” sues NASA, says Mars rock a “mushroom-like fungus”

The same patch of Martian landscape, imaged 12 Martian days apart.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Earlier this month, scientists announced that they were mystified by the presence of a rock that suddenly appeared in front of the Opportunity rover on the surface of Mars. Twelve days earlier, Opportunity had been in the exact same spot and the rock wasn’t there.

“We’re looking at the legacy of Opportunity’s first decade this week, but there’s more good stuff ahead,” said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, the mission’s principal investigator, in a NASA statement. “We are examining a rock right in front of the rover that is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Mars keeps surprising us, just like in the very first week of the mission.”

While most NASA scientists chalked it up to a curiosity and nothing more, one California man has decided that this explanation was not enough. On Monday, Rhawn Joseph, a self-described “astrobiologist” filed a writ of mandamus against NASA. In his 11-page brief, he accused NASA of a “dereliction of duty,” and wants to compel the agency to take “100 high-resolution photographs” of the rock in question.

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via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/1k9dYbY

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