NASA’s Mars Rover Can Now Choose Where to Shoot Its Laser

mars-rover-can-make-decisions

Even though NASA launched the Mars Curiosity Rover back in 2012, the diligent spacecraft is still picking up new tricks.

Recently, NASA gifted its Martian explorer with the ability to pick and choose which space rocks to zap with its laser.

Using something called the Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCham), the rover picks a target and shoots laser pulses at it.

Over the course of the Curiosity Rover’s life on Mars, scientists have used its tiny laser to inspect more than 1,400 targets. This took more than 350,000 laser blasts in 10,000 different places.

By looking at the light signatures that different rocks produce when the laser hits, scientists can figure out which elements are in them.

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SOURCE: Business Insider, Ali Sundermier