Curiosity will explore Gale crater for one Martian year, equivalent to two Earth years, and it will carry 10 science instruments. On Curiosity’s mast is an instrument called ChemCam (the circle in the white box), made up of a laser and telescope. It determines the composition of rock up to seven meters away by pulsing its laser at the object and examining the resulting flash of plasma with the telescope and spectrometers.
Also on the mast are two digital color cameras (squares below white box) that will complement each other in showing the surface of Mars in unprecedented detail. Together they are considered the left and right eyes of the instrument called the MastCam. The right eye looks through a telephoto lens, revealing details near or far with resolution about three times better than any previous landscape-viewing camera used on the surface of Mars, while the left eye takes wider-angle views.