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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 12:01 EDT
Curiosity ChemCam MastCam First Rock
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Curiosity ChemCam MastCam First Rock

April 2, 2013
Curiosity's First Rock Star This mosaic image shows the first target NASA's Curiosity rover aims to zap with its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. ChemCam will be firing a laser at this rock, provisionally named N165, and analyzing the glowing, ionized gas, called plasma, that the laser excites. The instrument will analyze that spark with a telescope and identify the chemical elements in the target. The rock is just off to the right of the rover. This image is part of a set of images obtained by Curiosity's Mast Camera on Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT). See PIA16051 for the larger mosaic. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/LANL