The rover Curiosity , which takes two weeks to Mars , has utilize first time his powerful laser to pulverize a rock the size of a fist. The objective was to verify that the instrument is working properly before starting your first mission of exploration in the red planet. NASA Curiosity has been reported that used the powerful beam of light into the rock ChemCam N165 , nicknamed “Coronation” (Coronation) , on which laser shot 30 times over a period of 10 seconds. (Each shot releases more than one million watts during 5000 millionths of a second).
The aim was to heat the rock to the point where its molecules become a fireball (an ionized plasma, glossy) for the telescope and the three spectrometers of Curiosity analyze the elements of which it is composed.According to principal investigator of the ChemCam, Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico , have managed a wide spectrum of elements that are analyzed.
With this first test the team wanted to see how the instrument
“Our team is excited and working hard analyzing the results,” said Wiens , noting that eight years have built the instrument, now comes the time for the results. With this first test the team wanted to see how the instrument and also consider whether there was any change in the composition of the rock as it became more shots.
As explained by NASA scientists detect if there were changes that could indicate that dust or other material could have penetrated into the rock and hide under the surface. Curiosity is equipped with the latest technology and spectrometers have the ability to record in 6,144 different wavelengths of ultraviolet , visible and infrared.
The deputy project scientist ChemCam , Sylvestre Maurice, Astrophysics Research Institute and the Planets (IRAP) in Toulouse (France) , stressed the clarity of the received signals. “It is surprising that the data (received) are even better than those who had received earlier during testing on Earth,” said Maurice , who has predicted major discoveries in the newly started mission of Curiosity. ”We can expect great scientific discoveries investigating what which can be thousands of ChemCam objectives over the next two years, “has said the scientist.
The Curiosity , an explorer rover one ton, arrived at Mars on 6 August with a two-year mission that will travel on the part of the world to analyze its composition and determine whether there are or ever were the conditions to support life .