NASA's Peculiarity wanderer recently began autonomously choosing some of the targets for its ChemCam instrument. The car-size robotic rover exploring Gale Crater 'Curiosity' itinerant recently began autonomously choosing some of the targets for its ChemCam instrument which crack Martian rocks or soil with a laser and analyses the composition of the resulting vapor. NASA Scientists still selects most ChemCam targets after peruse over images captured by the drifter. And Curiosity's increased independence comes in useful. This autarchy is particularly useful at times when getting the science team in the kink is difficult or impossible in the middle of a long drive, perhaps or when the schedules of Earth, Mars and spacecraft activities lead to delays in sharing information between the planets, robotics engineer of NASA said in a statement.

To select a target autonomously the software's analysis of images uses variable basis specified by scientists, such as identifying rocks based on their brightness  or size, NASA officials said. The criteria can be changed depending on the rover's surroundings and the scientific goals of the measurements. ChemCam sits a top Curiosity's head-like mast. The instrument can investigate the composition of a target that is up to 23 feet (7 meters) away from the rover. Using a suite of different instruments the rover quickly found evidence that Gale was a potentially habitable lake and stream system billions of years ago. During the four years on Mars, Curiosity has used ChemCam to analyse more than 1,400 targets, firing off more than 350,000 laser blasts in the process, NASA officials said.

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