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Automating Science on Mars

13 Mar 2018, 18:03 UTC
Automating Science on Mars NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

NASA has sent a robot to Mars that autonomously picks out targets to zap with its laser, blasting a little bit of rock to plasma. It's for science!

Since 2016, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has had the ability to choose its own science targets using an onboard intelligent targeting system called AEGIS (for Automated Exploration for Gathering Increased Science). The AEGIS software can analyze images from on-board cameras, identify geological features of interest, prioritize and select among them, then immediately point the ChemCam instrument at selected targets to make scientific measurements.

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