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ChemCam Rock Laser for the Mars Science Laboratory


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Title ChemCam Rock Laser for the Mars Science Laboratory
Author Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Publisher Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Release Date 2008
Language English

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Subject Area Engineering
Abstract Los Alamos has a long history of space-related instr... Los Alamos has a long history of space-related instruments, tied primarily to its role in defense-related treaty verification. Space-based detectors have helped determine the differences between signals from lightning bolts and potential nuclear explosions. LANL-developed gamma-ray detection instruments first revealed the existence of what we now know as gamma-ray bursts, an exciting area of astrophysical research. And the use of LANL instruments on varied space missions continues with such products as the ChemCam rock laser for NASA, shown here. The Engineering Model of the ChemCam Mars Science Laboratory rover instrument arrived at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on February 6, 2008. ChemCam will use imaging and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to determine rock and soil compositions on Mars, up to 9 meters from the rover. The engineering model is being integrated into the rover test bed for the development and testing of the rover software. The actual flight model components are concurrently being assembled at Los Alamos and in Toulouse, France, and will be delivered to JPL in July. The Mars Science Laboratory is scheduled to launch in 2009. Animations courtesy of JPL/NASA.


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