LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Mars corsair Curiosity zapped a initial Martian mill on Sunday with a high-powered laser gun designed to investigate a mineral composition, and scientists announced their target practice a success.
The robotic science lab took aim during a fist-sized mill with a laser lamp and shot a mill with 30 pulses over a 10-second period, NASA pronounced in a matter released from goal control during a Jet Propulsion Laboratory nearby Los Angeles.
Each beat delivers some-more than 1 million watts of appetite for about 5 one-billionths of a second, vaporizing a pinhead-sized bit of a mill to emanate a little spark, that is analyzed by a tiny telescope mounted on a instrument.
The ionized glow, that can be celebrated and available from adult to 25 feet away, is afterwards separate into a member wavelengths by 3 spectrometers that give scientists information about a chemical makeup of a aim rock.
The total system, called a Chemistry-and-Camera instrument, or ChemCam, is designed to take about 14,000 measurements via Curiosity’s mission on Mars.
The purpose of Sunday’s initial use of a laser, conducted during roughly 3 a.m. Pacific time (1100 GMT), was as “target practice” for a instrument. But scientists will inspect a information they accept to establish combination of a rock, that they dubbed “Coronation,” NASA said.
“We got a good spectrum of Coronation – lots of signal,” pronounced ChemCam principal questioner Roger Wiens of a Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where a instrument was developed. “After 8 years of building a instrument, it’s boon time.”
Curiosity, a one-ton, six-wheeled automobile a distance of a compress car, landed inside a vast, ancient impact void nearby Mars’ equator on Aug 6 after an eight-month, 354-million-mile excursion by space. Its two-year goal is directed during last either or not a universe many like Earth could have hosted microbial life.
The rover’s primary target is Mount Sharp, a soaring pile of layered mill rising from a building of Gale Crater. But goal controllers are gradually checking out Curiosity’s worldly array of instruments before promulgation it on a initial highway outing opposite a Martian landscape.
The $2.5 billion Curiosity plan outlines NASA’s initial astrobiology goal given a Viking probes to Mars during a 1970s and a many modernized robotic scholarship lab sent to another world.
The technique employed by ChemCam has been used to inspect a combination of materials in other impassioned environments, such as inside chief reactors and on a sea floor.
The record also has initial applications in environmental monitoring and cancer detection. But Sunday’s exercise, conducted during Curiosity’s 13th full day on Mars, was a initial use in interplanetary exploration, NASA said.
(Editing by Stacey Joyce)R Soft Web Hosting