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Home / News / Curiosity rover has fired lasers on Mars

Curiosity rover has fired lasers on Mars

Our robot emissary on the red planet is packing, and it’s just unleashed a blast on an unsuspecting rock

Humanity, eh? We send a robot probe to Mars, and what’s the first thing we do with it? Stick a laser on it for blasting away at the Martians. But since the only Martians on the planet are rock, hopefully NASA’s Curiosity rover won’t start an interstellar war any time soon.

The laser is actually part of an advanced camera called ChemCam, which uses 30 pulses over ten seconds to blast away the top layers of rock, getting rid of any dust and revealing the best inner sample of the geology. The camera itself uses a telescope to analyse the rock from 23 feet away – revealing information about soil composition, chemical elements, and the presence of ice or water.

Check out the video of this piece of super kit in action. Back on planet Earth, the best we can manage is gardening with lasers.

[Via Gizmag]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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