Zap! NASA’s Curiosity Rover Fires 100,000th Laser Shot on Mars


http://earthchangesmedia.com/zap-nasas-curiosity-rover-fires-100000th-laser-shot-on-mars
NASA’s trigger-happy Curiosity rover has fired its 100,000th laser shot on Mars, a science milestone in its mission to determine what rocks on the Red Planet are made of, NASA announced Thursday (Dec. 5).
Each laser pulse shot by the Curiosity rover packs the power nearly 1 million light…

NASA’s trigger-happy Curiosity rover has fired its 100,000th laser shot on Mars, a science milestone in its mission to determine what rocks on the Red Planet are made of, NASA announced Thursday (Dec. 5).

Each laser pulse shot by the Curiosity rover packs the power nearly 1 million light bulbs — strong enough to vaporize rock and dust from up to 30 feet (9 meters) away.

“#PewPewPew I’ve fired my ChemCam laser 100,000+ times on Mars for SCIENCE!” Curiosity’s team wrote in the voice of the rover in a Twitter post Thursday. [Latest Photos of Mars by NASA’s Curiosity Rover]

Originating from the French-made ChemCam instrument on Curiosity’s “head,” these beams are used to study the chemical composition of Mars. ChemCam has a spectrometer that analyzes the light emitted by the zapped targets on Mars. The instrument is sensitive enough to detect light from every element on the periodic table.

The 100,000th laser firing came as Curiosity was shooting a target called “Ithaca” in late October, according to NASA.

Roger Wiens, a planetary scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and principal investigator for ChemCam, said the laser-firing instrument has exceeded expectations.

“The information we’ve gleaned from the instrument will continue to enhance our understanding of the Red Planet, and will nicely complement information from the other nine instruments aboard Curiosity as we continue our odyssey to Mount Sharp,” Wiens said in a statement from Los Alamos.

Rising 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the center of Mars’ huge Gale Crater — where Curiosity landed in August 2012 — Mount Sharp is the rover’s main destination. Scientists hope Curiosity, which is about the size of a small SUV, will uncover clues about the ancient environment and habitability of Mars while scouring the foothills of the mountain.

The Curiosity rover has already made some amazing discoveries on Mars using ChemCam and its other instruments. Besides findings that Mars had a rather wet past, Curiosity recently helped scientists determine that each cubic foot of surface soil on Mars is made up of 2 percent water, which may be enough to quench the thirst of future astronauts.

“ChemCam was designed to fire one million shots, so we’ll have lots of stories to tell later on,” Wiens added.

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About Earth Changes Media w/ Mitch Battros

Mitch Battros is a scientific journalist who is highly respected in both the scientific and spiritual communities due to his unique ability to bridge the gap between modern science and ancient text. Founded in 1995 – Earth Changes TV was born with Battros as its creator and chief editor for his syndicated television show. In 2003, he switched to a weekly radio show as Earth Changes Media. ECM quickly found its way in becoming a top source for news and discoveries in the scientific fields of astrophysics, space weather, earth science, and ancient text. Seeing the need to venture beyond the Sun-Earth connection, in 2016 Battros advanced his studies which incorporates our galaxy Milky Way - and its seemingly rhythmic cycles directly connected to our Solar System, Sun, and Earth driven by the source of charged particles such as galactic cosmic rays, gamma rays, and solar rays. Now, "Science Of Cycles" is the vehicle which brings the latest cutting-edge discoveries confirming his published Equation.
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