Mars Rover 2020 Getting Laser to Blast Rocks

The planet Mars.

The Mars Rover, set to head into Space in 2020, is getting an overhaul CNET reported. One of the more eye-catching conditions is a laser that can zap rocks, which is part of the new SuperCam.

What does the SuperCam do? It’s the next-generation version of the ChemCam instrument installed on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which is currently going about making its own discoveries on the Red Planet. According to NASA, the instrument’s camera, laser and spectrometers “can identify the chemical and mineral makeup of targets as small as a pencil point from a distance of more than 20 feet (6 meters).” NASA intends to put the SuperCam to good use examining Martian rocks and soil, in particular to seek out organic compounds that could be related to past life on Mars.

Check It Out: Mars Rover 2020 Getting Laser to Blast Rocks

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