Thursday, August 9, 2012

Curiosity Rover Laser to Aid Search for Martian Life

Curiosity begins its Martian chronicle
06 Aug 2012
After a successful landing, the mission's laser-based analysis instruments can commence their work.
Hello Mars: Curiosity has landed.
Hello Mars: Curiosity has landed.
The Mars Science Laboratory space-probe successfully delivered the Curiosity rover onto the surface of Mars as scheduled on August 6th 2012, and all being well the exploration vehicle will soon be about its business.
Curiosity's agenda includes the use of photonics technology to analyze the constituents of Martian soil and surrounding rocks, by characterizing samples physically brought into the rover's on-board instruments and also remotely examining selected areas of the surrounding landscape up to seven meters away.
The key instrument for carrying out the latter operation is ChemCam, a laser characterization system that should be among the first of Curiosity's instruments to power-up and begin its remote sensing duties. Mission specialists anticipate that ChemCam will begin its calibration procedures on or around August 10th 2012, and make its first analyses of the surface between August 17th and 18th.




Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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