06.21.2017 A.I. laser targeting
06.01.2017 Diagram of Lake Stratification on Mars
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
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
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS