Nasa scientists have lost control over Curiosity since it started to use its $50million robotic arm to skim pebbles across an ancient Martian sea. Earlier it dug a series of holes in the sand and created a perfect line of sandcastles. It then reversed 20 metres, sped towards them and flattened them.
The wayward machine has rolled up its rubber gaiters designed to keep sand out of its drive motors, exposing sensitive components to too much light.
The boffins think the strange behaviour could be linked to a smutty card which arrived this morning at the Houston space centre via Moonpig. It depicts two robots on a beach. One is buried up to its antenna in sand. The caption says, "Can you pull me out?" "What's in it for me?" asks the second robot. "Sand."
Then scrawled at the bottom someone or something has written, 'sorry this is the best I could find.'