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2011-05-14
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Over the last ten weeks ChemCam participated in the final three Curiosity environmental tests and came through with flying colors. These major tests included vibration, thermal, and EMI/EMC, and are required of all spacecraft prior to launch. The first two, affectionately known as “shake ‘n bake” test the spacecraft’s ability to survive the vibrational environments associated with launch, re-entry, and landing, and test the rover under realistic temperature conditions...


 
2010-12-22

A rock-zapping laser instrument on NASA's next Mars rover has roots in a demonstration that Roger Wiens saw 13 years ago in a colleague's room at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on the rover Curiosity can hit rocks with a laser powerful enough to excite a pinhead-size spot into a glowing, ionized gas. ChemCam then observes the flash through a telescope and analyzes the spectrum of light to identify the chemical elements in...


 
2010-11-30

PASADENA, Calif. -- More than one million people have watched assembly and testing of NASA's next Mars rover via a live webcam since it went online in October.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, also known as the Curiosity rover, is being tested and assembled in a clean room at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The webcam, affectionately dubbed "Curiosity Cam," shows engineers and technicians clad in head-to-toe white smocks working on the rover.

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