Many interesting details were provided by NASA in a press release dated August 22, 2012.
Curiosity was driven about 20 feet from its landing location for a test drive. Scientists working on the NASA project have named the location Bradbury Landing in honor of science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury. Bradbury wrote Martian Chronicles.
The initial test drive confirmed the health of Curiosity's mobility system. It was driven forward and backward, and in a circle. Tracks were photographed by Curiosity's cameras.
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Roger Wright of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico reported that these moving rocks were unlike the rocks in the Bradbury Landing area. "Small rocks and sediment in the landing area were sampled and measured. Most of these samples suggest a basaltic composition. However, we believe that the composition of the moving rocks is far more complex. Curiosity's sensors indicate a magnetic component, possibly magnetite."
NASA scientists used a 100mm mast cam to image the moving rocks. Many of the revealing photos were not published on the JPL/NASA website. Rolling Stone reported that the Defense Department classified those photos TOP SECRET.
Cornell University's scientific community received a shock yesterday when one of their colleagues claimed that the moving rocks were photographed moving uphill.
"Contrary to the law of gravity, these moving rocks were photographed climbing hills on Mars," said astrophysicist Martin Beck. "Gravity on Mars is less than that of Earth, but how can this phenomenon occur under any circumstances? It's strange that the government has classified the photos TOP SECRET and will not acknowledge the phenomenon. Reminds me of the government's classified data on UFOs. There may be an element in these rocks that has military as well as scientific application."
JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. (Drawings and photos in this post courtesy NASA/JPL-CalTech and Google.)