The Curiosity rover just fired its laser for the first time yesterday, targeting a small nearby rock, primarily as “target practice.” Is Curiosity on the attack? No, the laser is for scientific purposes only, as it vapourizes a small amount of rock; the dust created can then be analyzed by other instruments to determine its composition.
That may not sound as exciting as a “War of the Worlds” in reverse, but it’s still a laser nonetheless and will help in the exploration of the rich geology in Gale crater where Curiosity has landed. With massive sedimentary layers and alluvial fans created by water a long time ago, this area is a geologist’s dream.
See Examiner.com for the full article.