This image displays the type of detail discernable with the telescopic camera of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover. The instrument uses a telescope for spectroscopic analysis of chemical elements in targets such as rocks or soil. The same telescope serves the instrument's camera, called the remote microimager. For this image, the remote microimager photographed a dollar bill from 10 feet (3 meters) away.
ChemCam was conceived, designed and built by a U.S.-French team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N. M.; NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.; the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (the French government space agency); and the Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements at the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. This mission will land a rover named Curiosity on Mars in August 2012. Researchers will use the tools on the rover to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and favorable for preserving clues about whether life existed.