I hope you are all following the beginning of what may be a very interesting adventure for Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover.
Gene sent me the following.  Hope you are getting the MSL updates but if not take a look. 
- LRK -
Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Mission Status Report            Aug. 19, 2012

Rover's Laser Instrument Zaps First Martian Rock

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at: 

PASADENA, Calif. - Today, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity fired its laser for the first time on Mars, using the beam from a science instrument to interrogate a fist-size rock called "Coronation."

The mission's Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, hit the fist-sized rock with 30 pulses of its laser during a 10-second period. Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second.
The energy from the laser excites atoms in the rock into an ionized, glowing plasma. ChemCam catches the light from that spark with a telescope and analyzes it with three spectrometers for information about what elements are in the target.