NASA Rover Curiosity Blasts Its First Rock on Mars
August 20, 2012 11:46 AM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Jean-Luc Lacour)
"The area shown in the circular inset is 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) in diameter. It was taken before the rock was hit with the laser. The area covered in the further-magnified square inset is 8 millimeters (about one-third of an inch) across"
The zap was used as a test for Curiosity's laser before the real traveling begins
NASA Mars rover Curiosity has zapped its first rock since
landing on the Red Planet
, marking the beginning of its two-year expedition to find signs of life.
Curiosity used its laser just yesterday to explore its first rock since its arrival on Mars. The rock, called "Coronation," was fist-sized and used as a test for
before the true journey begins.
Curiosity was able to do this using the Chemistry and Camera, or ChemCam. The ChemCam combines a few different instruments, including the laser and
Curiosity's ChemCam hit Coronation with its laser for 10 seconds using 30 pulses. Each pulse offers over a million watts of power for five one-billionths of a second, causing the atoms in the rock to become glowing plasma. Curiosity was able to catch this glow as well, and analyzed it with three spectrometers to see what elements are contained.
Curiosity also used a Navigation Camera for additional shots of the zapping. Between the Navigation Camera and ChemCam's camera, the Mars rover was able to obtain a few before-and-after photos of Coronation.
Curiosity is a $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that has six wheels and is about the size of a Mini Cooper. It landed safely on Mars earlier this month after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida on November 26, 2011. Now, Curiosity and its tool bag (a weather station, a large robot arm, a percussive drill, a laser and 4.8kg of plutonium-238) will spend two years exploring the Red Planet in an effort to find any signs of life.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: The Rebel Rock Is Within Range
8/21/2012 7:29:12 AM
How about Europa? Liquid oceans, compressed (and warmed) by Jupiter's gravity....
Or Titan, with its hydrocarbon oceans...
If they can find bacteria that survives in nuclear reactors, low temperatures and extreme pressures on Earth - who are we to say the same could not occur in our Solar System or otherwise?
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
NASA's Curiosity Rover to Receive Four-Day Software Update for Mars Exploration
August 12, 2012, 2:42 PM
Curiosity's Camera Project Manager Explains Why MSL Used "Archaic" 2 MP Cameras
August 9, 2012, 1:33 PM
NASA Rover Curiosity Lands Successfully on Mars, To Explore Surface for 2 Years
August 6, 2012, 1:04 PM
Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Donates $100M to Fight Raging Ebola Epidemic
October 23, 2014, 6:05 PM
Cool Science Video of the Day: Carnivorous Leech Eats Giant Jungle Worm
October 16, 2014, 6:44 PM
Facebook CEO and Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Donates $25M to Fight Ebola
October 14, 2014, 5:06 PM
Chagrined Over Leaks, CDC Confirms First U.S. Ebola Diagnosis in Dallas, Texas
September 30, 2014, 5:55 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Most Popular Articles
Amid Theater Boycott Netflix Defiantly Plans New Movies, Plus 3 TV Shows for 2015
October 24, 2014, 7:30 PM
AT&T Defeats Purpose of New Apple SIM, Locks iPad Air 2 SIMs to Its Network
October 24, 2014, 2:17 PM
CVS, Rite Aid Kill Unofficial Apple Pay Support, Burn Google Wallet Users in the Process
October 25, 2014, 5:26 PM
1 Million Credit Card Activated on Apple Pay Within 72 Hours, Walmart CEO Hopes Visa "Suffers"
October 28, 2014, 8:17 AM
Microsoft's Figures Show Desktop Users Flocking to Windows 10 Preview
October 27, 2014, 11:04 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information