NASA's Mars 2020 rover is fitted with a LASER that vaporizes rock to search for ...

NASA's Mars 2020 rover is fitted with a LASER that vaporizes rock up to 20 feet away to search for signs of life during its mission to the Red Planet NASA is set to send the Mars 2020 rover to the Red Planet in July The rover now has a laser to vaporize rock in order to look for certain elements The beams can vaporize rock up to 20ft away and then a camera analyzes it 

By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

Published: 20:26 GMT, 12 February 2020 | Updated: 20:26 GMT, 12 February 2020

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Mars 2020 rover is heading to the Red Planet armed with a high-powered laser to assist in its search for fossils.

The technology, called SuperCam, is fitted at the robot’s mast and shoots pulses capable of vaporizing rocks from up to 20 feet away.

The laser beam heats the target to 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to transform the solid rock into plasma that can be imaged by a camera for further analysis.

Using this instrument will help researchers identify minerals that are beyond the reach of the rover’s robotic arm or in areas too steep for the rover to go.

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Mars 2020 rover is heading to the Red Planet armed with a high-powered laser to assist in its search for fossils. The technology, called SuperCam, is fitted at the robot’s mast and shoots pulses capable of vaporizing rocks from up to 20 feet away

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Mars 2020 rover is heading to the Red Planet armed with a high-powered laser to assist in its search for fossils. The technology, called SuperCam, is fitted at the robot’s mast and shoots pulses capable of vaporizing rocks from up to 20 feet away

NASA is set to launch the Mars 2020 rover in July with the goal of finding signs of ancient microbial life.

Scientists will investigate the Jezero crater, which was home to a lake 3.5 billion years ago and is littered with carbonates and hydrated silica.

Carbonates located in the crater's inner rim have been found to survive in fossils on Earth for billions of years and hydrated silica was discovered in the delta that is known for its ability to preserve biosignatures.

SuperCam is essentially a next-generation version of the Curiosity rover’s ChemCam.

It includes a microphone allowing scientists to listen each time the laser hits a target, as it gives off a popping sounds that changes depending on what the rock is made up of.

The laser beam heats the target to 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to transform the solid rock into plasma that can be imaged by a camera for further analysis

The laser beam heats the target to 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to transform the solid rock into plasma that can be imaged

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