NASA
Can You Smellllll That The Rock Is Cooking?

NASA’s Mars Rover Spent the Weekend Shooting a Weird-Looking Rock With a Laser

byDan Robitzski
7. 20. 20
NASA

"We’re uncovering an ancient world that offered life a foothold for longer than we realized."

No-Scope

Over the weekend, NASA’s Curiosity rover spent its time blasting a bizarre rock on Mars with a laser.

To clarify, Curiosity wasn’t just killing time. This particular rock, Digital Trends reports, was adorned with unusual colors for the area, and vaporizing it with a laser is one of the best tricks Curiosity that has for figuring out what it’s made of.

Target Practice

The laser is just one of Curiosity’s tools for analyzing an object’s chemical composition. In the past, the rover has used them to make discoveries suggesting that Mars once harbored life. The findings for this particular rock aren’t available yet, but Digital Trends reports that the colors could suggest the presence of organic compounds.

But it won’t be until the next rover, Perseverance, shows up with more sophisticated tools that NASA can kick up the hunt for signs of ancient microbes to the next level.

Advertisement

Scouting Ahead

While NASA prepares for its Perseverance launch, Curiosity is continuing on what NASA is calling a “summer road trip” to scout ahead and study more regions of the planet that may have once harbored life.

“Curiosity was designed to go beyond Opportunity’s search for the history of water,” NASA researcher Abigail Fraeman said in a press release. “We’re uncovering an ancient world that offered life a foothold for longer than we realized.”

READ MORE: Curiosity is investigating a strangely colored rock it found on Mars [Digital Trends]

More on Curiosity: Next NASA Mars Rover Will Sport a Rock-Vaporizing Laser

Advertisement


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.