Nasa’s $800m Mars Exploration Rovers have accidentally drawn a penis.
The twin exploration vehicles Spirit and Opportunity were launched nine years ago, in an effort to search the surface of Mars for signs of water erosion and possibly even life.
According to Nasa, since then the rovers have driven over more than 10km of Martian land, directed by teams back on Earth combined with autonomous cameras designed to avoid potential problems with the terrain.
It appears that part of the robots’ programming involves spinning in tight circles to test nearby terrain and find new routes.
Humorously, depending on your age perhaps, that has the unfortunate consequence of drawing a certain shape on the surface, which when discovered by Reddit essentially crashed Nasa’s website.
The image was posted on Nasa’s site and appears to be a genuine picture from the Martian surface – albeit one taken at an unfortunate angle.
It’s not clear which of the rovers drew the shape, or even when it was made.
Nasa lost communication with the Spirit rover in 2009 after it became stuck in some sand. Meanwhile the Opportunity is still traversing the surface on its way to the Endeavour crater.