Frost on Mars? Curiosity uses its laser to probe mystery
The Mars Curiosity rover, cozy at the sandy, windblown patch of ground called Rocknest, pulled out its laser late last week, aimed it at a target about 9 feet away and started zapping.
The goal? To find out whether frost accumulates on Mars' surface at night, according to Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
NASA's Guy Webster told that Curiosity, for part of this week, will be working with its fourth scoop of Mars soil.
"The team plans to collect and analyze at least one more at this patch called Rocknest," he said.
"These are the first solid materials going into the internal analytical instruments that are the core of the science capabilities for this mission. A few weeks from now, these same instruments may be getting their first samples of powder drilled from the inside of a Martian rock."