02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Accurate pointing by CuriosityNASA's Curiosity Mars rover targeted the laser of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument with remarkable accuracy for assessing the composition of the wall of a drilled hole and tailings that resulted from the drilling. This graphic diagrams the pointing and shows the resulting pits created by the laser shots.
On the 180th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Feb. 6, 2013), the rover performed a "mini drill test," followed on Sol 182 (Feb. 8, 2013) by the actual drilling to collect a sample from the interior of the rock. Both holes in the target rock "John Klein" are visible in the image at upper left, taken on Sol 182 by the rover's Navigation Camera (Navcam). Both the Navcam and the ChemCam are at the top of the Curiosity's remote-sensing mast.
Each drilled hole is about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide, and they are located about 8 feet (about 2.5 meters) away from the top of the mast. So small, so far away...
On Sol 227 (March 26, 2013), ChemCam fired its laser 150 times (5 bursts of 30 shots, each burst at a different target point) on the drill tailings between the two holes and 300 times (10 bursts of 30 shots) in the drill hole itself. The same day, ChemCam's remote micro-imager (RMI) captured images of the laser pits: small craters in the loose tailing (center photo from RMI), and tiny scrapes on the hard surface of the hole walls (photo at right from RMI). Composition spectra from the ChemCam laser inspection are under investigation.
Fig. 1 is a composite of RMI images of the drilled hole. The photo on the right of the main image is a brightened version of the center portion of Fig. 1.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS