NASA/JPL-Caltech/Wikimedia Commons

Fire at will! Mars rover Curiosity gets license to autonomously shoot laser

Curiosity, NASA’s Mars rover, can now shoot its laser without having to wait for a go-ahead from humans, New Scientist reports. The rover has been meandering Mars’s rocky surface since 2012, using its laser to singe rocks and soil to observe which gases release; this gives insight into the chemical makeup of Mars geology. Giving Curiosity a license to kill will come in handy when Mars and Earth are out of contact or when Mars orbiters are too occupied to relay messages to the rover.

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