Move Over Rover!! Flowers on Mars? Why is NASA Trying So Hard?

A flower?  Or a harbinger?
A flower? Or a harbinger?

NASA has released another photograph from Curiosity that has conspiracy and space buffs foaming at the mouth.  The photo shows an anomaly on the Martian surface that many have labeled as a flower.  Further examination does not really corroborate this suggestion, but it is an interesting image.  But then again, aren’t all images beamed back from another planet pretty interesting?

Of course, NASA isn’t saying much about the photo, but that is what interests us the most.  You see, here lately there have been many of Curiosity’s shenanigans touted in the media on the Internet.  First there was the objects that NASA eventually explained away as pieces of the rover itself.  Then, a long line of images such as this one where someone decided a rock formation looked like something here on Earth.  At one point, there were even claims that NASA had photographed “space spiders.”  But NASA has not really been very condemning of such theories, instead seeming to enjoy it.

This all escalated when a NASA scientist let it slip that there would be a historic announcement coming up…which turned out to be a complete bust.  Then, last week, NASA excitedly reported that a rock had been found that was from Mars and had obviously contacted water while on the Martian surface before being ejected somehow to Earth.

Everything about all of this stuff is fascinating, but is it just us, or does it seem that maybe NASA is trying too hard?  Instead of dispelling rumors like these, it almost appears that NASA is actively trying to increase public speculation about Mars?  Are they setting the stage for something big in 2013?

Curiosity is all set to set out on its main mission.  It will trek across the Martian surface to examine a mountain and a crater.  Could it be that NASA already knows what will be found there?  Are they working to prepare the public for what happens next?

What do you think?  Is NASA telling us the whole story?  And will they?

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