back to article Curiosity's laser turns Mars rocks to 'glowing plasma'

Humanity has unleashed its most awesome high-energy assault on extra-terrestrial geology to date, after the Curiosity rover zapped a martian rock with its Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) over the weekend. The unprovoked attack was the first time any off-Earth object has been subjected to investigation by laser and …

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Best. Rover. Ever.

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Alien

Yes but they are still editing photos, its criminal what they do to poor Martian rocks with lasers. This was taken just prior to firing the laser:

Edited rock picture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46997406@N04/7824372628/

Unedited raw rock picture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46997406@N04/7824372888/

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Childcatcher

Rover?

Surely it is a shark.

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Simply intense

I remember watching the first shuttle launch when I was young and this seems to have the same level of excitement. I think it's that laser that's so stimulating.

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Unhappy

RE: ".....first shuttle launch when I was young....." God, that makes me feel old.

I remember Gagarin landing when I was young. :-P

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Re: RE: ".....first shuttle launch when I was young....." God, that makes me feel old.

One of the Gemini splashdowns.

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Re: RE: ".....first shuttle launch when I was young....." God, that makes me feel old.

Last Skylab mission for me

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You know, when the director's cut of the movie comes out, they're going to edit it so that the rock shot first...

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Joke

RE:".....so that the rock shot first..." No, no, that's not how they'll do it.

First the Pentagon will release a statement claiming independent evidence suggests that the rock was armed. Then there will be counter-claims that the rock was trying to surrender. Off the record briefings will then allege that the rock shot first rapidly followed by the investigating team being unable to find any sign that the rock had weapon at all. The White House will then announce an inquiry whilst senior Republican senators denounce the President for being soft on rocks.

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Re: RE:".....so that the rock shot first..." No, no, that's not how they'll do it.

Soft on rocks: soft on the causes of rocks.

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Coat

Re: RE:".....so that the rock shot first..." No, no, that's not how they'll do it.

But at least the president isn't trying to get his rocks off.

I had no other way to work that joke in.

... I'll leave now...

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Aaaand

it will have a British accent.

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Re: Aaaand

Not a British accent, but an English accent. The Martians are defeated by a Welshman, singing.

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Coat

Re: RE:".....so that the rock shot first..." No, no, that's not how they'll do it.

But! there were WMD's under that rock - honest!!

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Mushroom

Entirely justified.

Definately looks like a mobile nuclear weapons processing plant to me.

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I'm just loving the science

Launches

Landings

Lasers

LIKE

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Re: I'm just loving the science

I stopped at frikkin' lasers!

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Happy

Yep, NASA's getting sexy, alright.

In the beginning, NASA said, "Let's put mold in a petri dish, send it into orbit, bring it back and look at it."

And the reaction was, "YAWN"

Now there's a big laser, "Hooray!"

Next, it'll be a Playboy Centerfold. Bending over a rock, brushing with a feather duster, accidentally losing her knickers...

NASA Science Missions, now Pay-Per-View...

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Happy

Re: Yep, NASA's getting sexy, alright.

Actually that's a seriously good funding idea. After all, pornography has been a driving force behind many of our other technologies - printing, video and the internet.

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Re: Yep, NASA's getting sexy, alright.

Get yer GimpShops out, and please post links to your 'artist's conceptualisations'!

Like Martin Amis's The Janitor on Mars... sending a message to a dead-tree news outlet on Earth:

"Send me scientists, artists and examples of male and female pulchritude. Don't send me any politicians or religious leaders. [Print the obscenity in full or I go to the New York Times:] I repeat: No fucking monkeys"

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Coat

Re: Yep, NASA's getting sexy, alright.

Well, the article does say that the atoms got excited.....

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Coat

Re: Yep, NASA's getting sexy, alright.

and had a lovely glow afterwards.

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Send in the angry rover...

...with frickin' laser beams.

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Coat

They really picked the wrong name for that rock.

They should have called it "The Cat".

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Anonymous Coward

Certainly the first of its kind.

But, this bit isn't quite true...

"The unprovoked attack was the first time any off-Earth object has been subjected to investigation by laser..."

Earth based lasers regularly fire at reflective targets on the moon, just to see how far away it is. Sometimes they get half a dozen photos back, but only on a good day.

Still, excellent instrument to have up there in just about every way. Lots of useful scientific data from lots of targets, and a PR masterpiece.

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Re: Certainly the first of its kind.

But aren't the reflective targets man-made, and positioned on the moon by us? (ergo, although they're off-earth, they're not strictly speaking "off-earth" objects).

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Boffin

Re: Certainly the first of its kind.

But an investigation none the less.

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Mushroom

We have had to destroy this rock..

...in order to save it....

Go Curiosity!. Make the Solar System safe for American values, and destroy the commie insurgent rocks!

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That rock was a red ...

And there fore had to be shot ... a tiny bit.

Anybody noticed, it was shot for 30x a million watts x five one-billionths of a second for a total of 0.15 W. The force is not so strong with this one!

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Re: That rock was a red ...

I think you mean a total of 0.15J. It's the energy that's not so strong with this one, rather than the force!

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Re: We have had to destroy this rock..

I love the idea that all of the time, money, and effort for this mission was spent to burn a hole in a small rock ;)

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0.15 J

I yield

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Alien

The unforgettable fire

As long as some hugely advanced race out there doesn't decide to point a CEO salary sized laser at the earth to see what it's made of. Things could become uncomfortable when the oceans start boiling and the atmosphere is blown away.

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If they're that hugely advanced, they might be bright enough to not use an investigative method that is (highly) susceptible to inducing changes into what they want to investigate ?

At least not until they get the results back and discover Justin Bieber, in which case a zap with a CEO-salary-sized laser is a perfectly understandable next step.

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Anonymous Coward

"more than a million watts of power"

Doesn't sound as impressive as ~ 5 mJ.

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Anonymous Coward

I have mental images of

Martian microbes holding up little white flags saying "OK we surrender already!"

AC/DC 6EQUJ5

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Mushroom

Kaboom!

Just wait until the upgrade - that laser will be awesome once the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator is attached.

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Linux

Re: Kaboom!

Or rather just wait till the Martian Equivalent of Curiosity, with the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator attached, comes rolling over the hills.......

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Happy

Yeah yeah yeah all well and good but...

...where are the sharks?

:)

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Go

Re: Yeah yeah yeah all well and good but...

They have to find a pool-sized amount of water first, or do you think NASA's going to lug it all over? Or alternatively, some kind of shark space suit has to be developed.

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Re: Yeah yeah yeah all well and good but...

It's at the poles - they just need to activate the alien tech to melt it and make Mars habitable. Must be true, saw it in Total Recall (the original - not checked it's still in the "rebooted" version)

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What happened next

> The unprovoked attack was the first time any off-Earth object has been subjected to investigation by laser and unleased awesome forces on a rock named “Coronation”.

The footage that NASA have kept to themselves in that a few seconds after being lasered, the rock got up and ran away

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Trollface

Re: What happened next

Back in the day we had such a joke in Poland , that one day chinese soldiers unprovoked attacked Soviet civilian harverster , and after a while the harvester responded with a rocket fire and then flew away in a direction of Moscow ...

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Anonymous Coward

Later that day

Someone noticed the laser had been fired a number of times more, and that the rock now bore the inscription "mohawk"

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Rock, my arse. It's clearly a Martian wedding venue. There will be hell to pay for this.

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This is the voice of the......

In the best traditions of Captain Scarlet two rings will pass over that rock, it will reform & become a Mysteron!

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Of course by this action you do realise we have just declared war on Mars..............dern,dern,dern

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Mars Rover bollox

Why do they always land in a crater? For the same reason The Trueman Show was set on an island. It's actually a studio with limited horizons. The 'studio' could be an open quarry. Mark my words, they will never climb high enough up that mountain to see over the edge of the crater.

Why did they not fit large enough program storage to hold both the landing AND the roving software?

Why did they fit black and white TV to the Rover? Most places on earth have been watching colour TV for decades. Probably because last time they fitted colour TV they got caught faking the red colour.

Why did they not fit cameras on the lifter thing? That would have been an excellent show. Probably because that bit never happened.

Why did the Russian mission blow up? Probably so there would be no witnesses.

It makes me sad how people believe these ridiculously badly faked missions are real.

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Trollface

Re: Mars Rover bollox

WTF? Did you just wake up from a coma?

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