NASAs Curiosity Zaps First Mars Rock Called Coronation – photo by NASA
As man learns more about the universe, NASAs Curiosity zaps first Mars rock called coronation.
According to BBC News, the Curiosity rover fired its ChemCam laser at a tennis-ball-sized stone lying about 2.5m away on the ground. The blast of light toward the tiny rock vaporized its surface and showed its basic chemistry.
While the rock was only a little test for the rover, this means that Curiosity will soon be ready for its real investigation into the geology of Mars. The main mission of Curiosity is to determine if life has ever existed on the Red Planet, and moreover, if the planet has the potential to support life now.
The ChemCam attached to the rover zapped the Coronation rock with 30 pulses of infrared light during a 10-second period. According to ChemCam principal investigator Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, “We got a great spectrum of Coronation – lots of signal. Our team is both thrilled and working hard, looking at the results. After eight years building the instrument, it’s pay-off time.”
Once the mission team has reviewed and analyzed the Coronation’s performance and results, the team will move on to other series of matter. When the Curiosity rover made its way to Mars, the exhaust from its decent scattered the surface of the planet and revealed a harder surface underneath. These materials have been named Burnside, Goulburn, Hepburn and Sleepy Dragon.
Scientists at NASA are extremely enthusiastic about the Curiosity mission, as this is just the beginning of a Martian year-long project.
Space News: NASAs Curiosity Zaps First Mars Rock Called Coronation