08/24/2012

Curiosity Rover Zaps a Rock, Starts to Roll

This overhead view shows evidence of a successful first test drive for NASA's Curiosity rover. On Aug. 22, 2012, the rover made its first move, going forward about 15 feet (4.5 meters), rotating 120 degrees and then reversing about 8 feet (2.5 meters). Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
This overhead view shows evidence of a successful first test drive for NASA’s Curiosity rover. On Aug. 22, 2012, the rover made its first move, going forward about 15 feet (4.5 meters), rotating 120 degrees and then reversing about 8 feet (2.5 meters). Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Not long after touchdown, the Curiosity rover tested its ChemCam instrument by blasting a nearby rock with a laser. Now it’s rolling toward Glenelg, a rocky area in the Gale Crater, to do more zapping and some drilling. Mars Science Lab deputy project manager Richard Cook talks about what the rover might find.

Segment Guests

Richard Cook

Richard Cook is a deputy project manager in the Mars Science Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.