12.19.2016 Curiosity Rover's Location for Sol 1553
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
Crystal-Laden Martian Rock Examined by Curiosity's Laser InstrumentAs NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is progressing toward Mount Sharp, researchers are using the rover's instruments to examine soils and rocks in Gale Crater. On the mission's 514th sol, or Martian day (Jan. 15, 2014) the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument examined a rock target called "Harrison" with its Remote Micro-Imaging (RMI) camera and its laser. This is an RMI image of the rock, which is loose on the surface inside Gale Crater, not part of an outcrop.
Harrison contains elongated, light-colored crystals in a darker matrix. The 4.5-millimeter scale bar at lower right is about one-sixth of an inch long. Some of the crystals are up to about 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) in size.
The RMI and ChemCam's laser were about 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) from the target. At that distance, the laser can sample areas less than 0.016 inch (0.4 millimeter) in diameter. Thanks to this small sampling area, ChemCam provides constraints on the composition of each constituent in the rock: The elongated crystals are likely feldspars, while the matrix is pyroxene-dominated, an association typical of basaltic igneous rocks. This texture provides compelling evidence for igneous rocks at Gale Crater.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS