It’s becoming more and more evident that NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has the mind of a teenager. After it took some time in October to check-in on Foursquare, it recently deviated from its mission to draw an inappropriate doodle on the surface of Mars.
Believe it or not, this is a genuine image from the Martian surface that was posted to NASA’s official website. The image was discovered by Reddit users and became so popular that it temporarily overloaded NASA’s servers and the image was taken down.
NASA once again displayed its excellent sense of humor by re-uploading a higher quality version of the Mars rover photo, and even added it to the official Jet Propulsion Laboratory page. While some were quick to call the drawing an accident, others guess that it could have been a joke among engineers who drive the Mars rover, which was later discovered by the public.
Curiosity is the third rover to land on Mars, joining Opportunity and Spirit. It is unclear which of the rovers is actually responsible for the representation of male anatomy, but given Curiosity’s penchant for social media, it seems like a logical conclusion.
“One check-in closer to being Mayor of Mars!” the rover wrote, when it checked in to the Gale Crater in October. Not exactly the behavior of a mature scientist that cost $800 million to build and $1 billion to operate.
To be fair, it has been creating some buzz recently with some rock formation findings. Perhaps it’s still growing as a robot and trying to find itself.
At least we have a better idea of why it’s called “Curiosity.”