Why does Curiosity have it’s own laser? The truth behind an armed rover.

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The official story is one of a modest laser device, used to blast tiny holes in rocks, and analyze the resulting dust and debris with a spectrometer.  This, according to the briefs, will allow scientists to determine the chemical structure of the rocks.  NASA/JPL just released a picture of their first test firing.

From the looks of the images, you’d think “no big deal. A little tiny hole in a rock.”  The truth, however, is much more sinister.

We all know the government never tells you the complete story about these things.  Remember when spy satellites were all the “top-secret” rage, and they “could read the license plate number on your car”?  Of course, the capabilities were far more than was admitted.  The same thing applies to Curiosity.

A nuclear reactor?  To power a golf cart and a laser pointer? Not bloody likely…

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Space Cadet Jimmiejoe is a happy boy – Curiosity safely on Mars

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Photo illustration by NASA

Here’s what it might look like if you were there right now.  Curiosity is safely on the surface of Mars!  After a 7 minute landing program that took the lander from 13,000 MPH to a soft landing, the first pictures have been downloaded.  Science starts soon!

 

Photo: Mars Curiosity/NASA

The parachute popped exactly right.  The retro-rockets fired perfectly, bringing it to a hover over the ground, then dropped it to the ground on a sky crane system that has never before been attempted.  Now the rover begins at least two years of science work.

Space Cadet Jimmiejoe is jumping up and down like crazy.  I’m glad to see he’s still around.

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