Jean-Luc Lacour, an engineer at CEA France, created this artistic rendering of the ChemCam back in 2004. Looking at rocks and soil from a distance, ChemCam fires a high-powered laser to analyze the composition of vaporized materials from areas smaller than 1 millimeter on the surface of Martian rocks and soil as part of NASA’s Curiosity rover mission.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Los Alamos National Lab (LANL)/ J.-L. Lacour, CEA
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This photo shows the ChemCam mast unit mounted on the Curiosity rover as it is being prepared in the clean room prior to the launch of NASA's Curiosity rover mission. ChemCam fires a powerful laser that can sample Martian rocks and provide critical clues about the Red Planet's habitability.
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This composite image, with magnified insets, depicts the first laser test by the ChemCam aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover.
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A bright ball of plasma, produced by ChemCam's invisible laser beam striking a rock within the Mars sample chamber.