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2014

Flash from Curiosity Rover's Laser Hitting a Martian Rock

Flash from Curiosity Rover's Laser Hitting a Martian Rock - July 16, 2014

The sparks that appear on the baseball-sized rock result from the laser of the ChemCam instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover hitting the rock.

ChemCam's laser zapping of this particular rock was the first time the team used Curiosity's arm-mounted Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera to try and capture images of the spark generated by the laser hitting a rock on Mars.

The process, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, hits a target with pulses from a laser to generate sparks, whose spectra provide information about which chemical elements are in the target. Multiple laser shots are fired in sequence, each blasting away a thin layer of material so that the following shot examines a slightly deeper layer. In this case, "Nova" displayed an increasing concentration of aluminum as a series of laser shots from the rover penetrated through dust on the rock's surface.

The video is compiled from single images from the MAHLI camera, taken during the 687th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (July 12, 2014).


QuickTime:320x180 (2.41 Mb) | 480x270 (5.94 Mb) | 640x360 (10.73 Mb) | 1280x720 (13.89 Mb) |
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Curiosity Completes Its First Martian Year

Curiosity Completes Its First Martian Year - June 23, 2014

On June 24, 2014, NASA's Curiosity rover completes her first Martian year (687 Earth days). Hear team members describe how the mission accomplished its main goal to find a past habitable environment on the Red Planet and the ongoing science studies.


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MPEG-4:320x180 (6.22 Mb) | 480x270 (16.89 Mb) | 640x360 (30.26 Mb) | 640x360 (39.61 Mb) | 1280x720 (88.54 Mb) |
Rover's 5K Run

Rover's 5K Run - February 14, 2014

Curiosity logs 5K after a punishing trek over sharp terrain. To celebrate, JPLers put on their running shoes!


QuickTime:320x180 (14.99 Mb) | 480x270 (24.57 Mb) | 640x360 (58.72 Mb) | 1280x720 (230.68 Mb) |
MPEG-4:320x180 (13.52 Mb) | 640x360 (17.59 Mb) | 640x360 (24.02 Mb) | 1280x720 (49.98 Mb) |
PDF: Transcript (17 Kb)

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