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Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

I first learned about the new rover from my colleague Nina Gregory at NPR West, who spotted it in LA Weekly's restaurant blog. Caltech runs NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and JPL runs that other rover called Curiosity that is working its tail off on the red planet, and tweeting all about it.

So as a kind of culinary homage to his colleagues, the head chef at the Caltech faculty club made a gingerbread rover replica, decorated with pinwheel cookies, gumdrops, candy canes and M&Ms. (Here's the real one, for comparison.)

The gingerbread rover sits on a rock-strewn platform, and to keep it company, there's Yoda, Darth Vader, Buzz Lightyear and a three-eyed Martian nearby. At least I think it's a Martian. We'll have to wait for one of NASA's rovers to take a picture of a Martian to be sure.

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