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Curiosity rover tweets photo of 'Bradbury Landing'

The Curiosity rover has tweeted a photograph of the spot where it landed on Mars, which NASA said today has been named 'Bradbury Landing' after the author Ray Bradbury.

NASA releases first 'laser spectrum'

NASA's first laser spectrum generated after zapping Coronation Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP

This is the first laser spectrum from the 'Chemistry and Camera' (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Curiosity rover.

Graphs like this are created when the rover zaps a rocks with its laser and uses spectrometers to analyse the gases that are emitted and detect different elements present in the rock.

NASA: Curiosity rover laser working well

The Mars rover has zapped several rocks in order to test its laser systems are working.

The Coronation rock that was first to be zapped Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/LANL

The first rock, dubbed 'Coronation', was chosen because of its proximity. Other choices include an outcrop of rocks that were uncovered by the Sky Crane thrusters during the landing.

NASA scientists are looking forward to doing "lots more science with the ChemCam instrument".

Rocks uncovered by the Sky Crane's thrusters Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/MSSS

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NASA: Curiosity rover's drive system working well

The Curiosity rover's drive system is working well, NASA has announced after several tests.

These included going forward about 4.5 metres (15 feet), rotating 120 degrees and then reversing about 2.5 metres (8 feet).

The mission's lead rover driver, Matt Heverly, said: "We have a fully functioning mobility system with lots of amazing exploration ahead."

Its first drive is scheduled for early September.

Curiosity landing spot to be named after author Ray Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury Credit: REUTERS/Fred Prouser

NASA has announced that the spot where the Curiosity rover touched down will be named 'Bradbury Landing' after the author Ray Bradbury whose 1950 short story 'The Martian Chronicles' imagined humans colonising Mars.

Mr Bradbury was born 92 years ago today and died earlier this year.

Michael Meyer, NASA program scientist for Curiosity, said: "Many of us and millions of other readers were inspired in our lives by stories Ray Bradbury wrote to dream of the possibility of life on Mars."

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