Most valuable penny helps Mars Curiosity
A century-old coin which is currently helping NASA's Curiosity rover explore the surface of Mars has been hailed as the most valuable penny in the universe.
The coin, one of the first batch of Lincoln pennies ever minted, is a tool to help scientists calibrate the hi-tech cameras of the rover, which is sending an amazing series of images from the Red planet back to Earth.
According to Gizmodo, If you calculate the share of the voyage's cost which is attributable to the 2.5-gram penny, it comes out at USD 7,000.
Reportedly, the coin is part of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera, pictures of which have recently been beamed back from Mars.
Pennies are traditionally used by geologists to provide a sense of scale in their pictures.
Even though Curiosity has other, more sophisticated calibrators, NASA has still included the penny in homage to the scientific custom.
This penny is not just any coin - it was minted in 1909, when the Lincoln design was first instituted on the 100th anniversary of the Great Emancipator.
The coin is a 'VDB cent', marked with the initials of its designer Victor David Brenner.
It was bought for Curiosity by MAHLI engineer Ken Edgett, who personally donated it to the Mars mission.
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