Curiosity's ChemCam instrument will use a fine-pulsed laser beam to vaporize its target, producing a flash of plasma that is analyzed on board to identify the chemical elements.
Here, researchers prep the laser, which was designed and built by Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., for a firing test.
April 6, 2011 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL
| Caption by: James Martin
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