NASA rover aims laser ray at Mars rocks

Curiosity will burn hole in small stone as part of study to determine if Mars environment ever held microbial life.

    NASA's Curiosity rover is about to begin its laser target practice [AFP]
    NASA's Curiosity rover is about to begin its laser target practice [AFP]

    The NASA Mars rover Curiosity is preparing for its first laser target practice by zapping a Martian rock from three metres away.

    Since landing in an ancient crater on August 5, the car-size Curiosity has been getting a full health checkup.

    Scientists said on Friday they had chosen a generic-looking rock near the landing site to aim the laser at and burn a small hole.

    The laser is one of 10 tools Curiosity will use to study whether the environment was favorable for microbial life.

    Engineers next week planned to command Curiosity to turn its wheels side-to-side and then take its first short drive that will involve rolling forward three metres, turning 90 degrees and then going in reverse.

    After the checkups are done, the rover will head east to a spot where three different types of terrain converge in a drive that will take about a month. By year's end, it will start its trek toward a mountain rising from the crater floor.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Apart from being disastrous for Palestine, normalising relations with Israel could get Saudi Arabia in real trouble.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.