“”We’re essentially taking a small chemistry lab and compressing it into a rover. —Doug McCuistion, PhD, NASA, Washington, D.C., USA, to the BBC
RENDERING COURTESY OF NASA/JPL-CALTECH
With President Barack Obama’s announcement that the United States isn’t shooting for the moon anymore, all eyes are on Mars—
and the new rover headed there.
Developed by NASA (National Aeronautics
and Space Administration), Curiosity is
designed to give scientists unprecedented
insights into the potential for life on Earth’s
closest neighbor. The rover’s ChemCam can
vaporize rocks from up to 10 meters ( 33 feet)
away and then analyze the types of atoms in the
resultant gas cloud. Roughly the size of a small
car, the vehicle also has a camera mounted on
its robotic arm to provide detailed documenta-
tion of soil, rocks and ice.