The ground from which the first scoop of soil on Mars was taken is shown here. The image was taken by the Mars rover Curiosity's right MastCam. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

The nearby object is, according to NASA, likely to be a piece of plastic material that may have been wrapped around a wire. The piece is suspected to have fallen onto the rover during its descent in August.

Wednesday’s activities consisted primarily of continuing to monitor to the surrounding environment. A press conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

A scoopful of Mars helps the science go down. Ready to “rinse & spit” regolith to clean my sampling system: 1.usa.gov/SQmKRO

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) October 10, 2012

View Photo Gallery: NASA’s Curiosity rover readies itself to examine the Martian sand.

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