Hopefully they will find concrete signs of life on the Red Planet and this will usher in a new age of manned exploration to Mars. The rover is Nuclear powered, too and this is amazing.
A NASA rover has fired the first laser gun on Mars to take a peek inside a small Martian rock.
The Mars rover Curiosity zapped a rock scientists are now calling “Coronation” on Sunday (Aug. 19) to test an instrument that measures the composition of targets hit by its powerful laser beam. The rover fired 30 laser pulses in 10 seconds at the fist-size Coronation rock in order to analyze the results.
“We got a great spectrum of Coronation — lots of signal,” said Roger Wiens, lead scientist for the rover’s laser-wielding instrument at the Los Almos National Laboratory in New Mexico, in a statement. “Our team is both thrilled and working hard, looking at the results. After eight years building the instrument, it’s payoff time!”
- Pew! Pew! Pew! NASA’s Curiosity Rover Zaps Mars Rock with Laser (space.com)
- Mars rover prepares to zap rock (nzherald.co.nz)
- Curiosity Blasts 1st Mars Rock with Powerful Laser Zapper (universetoday.com)
- Nasa’s Curiosity rover zaps Mars rock – Jonathan Amos – BBC News (richarddawkins.net)
- Curiosity Rover’s Laser Zaps First Martian Rock (mashable.com)