This year, we will witness another NASA mission. Part of this mission will include the dispatch of the Mars 2020 rover to the Red Planet, and this time the vehicle will be equipped with an unusual laser to explore the rock formations on the planet.
A laser which is part of the Super Cam complex will be installed at the top of the rover’s mast. It can apply heat to rock formations, reaching a phenomenal temperature of 10 thousand °C. This type of thermal impact will essentially evaporate the rocks into a vapor that will be analyzed by a spectrometer - another gadget within the complex. This will make it possible to evaluate the composition of the Red Planet with a greater degree of accuracy.
The laser has a range of up to 7 meters. The rover will be able to analyze minerals that it cannot reach with its robotic arm. NASA scientists are primarily interested in the existence of liquid water on Mars. This will allow them to find out whether or not the planet was ever inhabited. And if so - what kind of life forms had been present on the planet. The Mars rover will examine desiccated bodies of water, with the goal of discovering fossilized microorganisms.
Share this with your friends!