Details of ChemCam (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL)
Composition of rock "Coronation" (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP)
Photo mosaic of rocks exposed by sky crane's rockets and then zapped by ChemCam (Image: NASA/JPL)
GIF animation of ChemCam laser shot result (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP)
Comparison of laser plasmas generated in a terrestrail atmosphere versus Martian (Image: LANL)
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has already fired its laser over 500 times as it studies its surroundings as engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) calibrate its sensors. In a classic example of “waste not, want not” Curiosity concentrated its activity on a patch of rocks that were uncovered by the rocket backwash of the sky crane that delivered the unmanned explorer to the Martian surface on August 6.
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