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Topic: ChemCam

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover surpasses 100,000 firings of ChemCam Infrared Laser

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils.

The 100,000th shot was one of a series of 300 to investigate 10 locations on a rock called “Ithaca” in late October, at a distance of 13 feet, 3 inches (4.04 meters) from the laser and telescope on rover’s mast.

Since landing on Mars in August 2012, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has fired the laser on its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument more than 100,000 times at rock and soil targets up to about 23 feet (7 meters) away. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/UNM)

Since landing on Mars in August 2012, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has fired the laser on its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument more than 100,000 times at rock and soil targets up to about 23 feet (7 meters) away. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/UNM)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover data reveals Pebble Rocks on Mars came from Ancient Streambed

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity investigated pebble-containing slabs on Mars last year. Researchers’ have completed a detailed analysis and review of these slabs. The initial interpretation of the pebbled slabs is that they are part of an ancient streambed.

The rocks are the first ever found on Mars that contain streambed gravels. The sizes and shapes of the gravels embedded in these conglomerate rocks — from the size of sand particles to the size of golf balls — enabled researchers to calculate the depth and speed of the water that once flowed at this location.

This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars (left) with similar rocks seen on Earth (right). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and PSI)

This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars (left) with similar rocks seen on Earth (right). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and PSI)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover data reveals remaining atmosphere on Mars is still active

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationVienna, Austria – Mars has lost much of its original atmosphere, but what’s left remains quite active, recent findings from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity indicate. Rover team members reported diverse findings today at the European Geosciences Union 2013 General Assembly, in Vienna.

Evidence has strengthened this month that Mars lost much of its original atmosphere by a process of gas escaping from the top of the atmosphere.

This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded after other portions of the sample had been delivered to analytical instruments inside the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded after other portions of the sample had been delivered to analytical instruments inside the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity moves closer to Martian Rock selected for first Drilling

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is driving toward a flat rock with pale veins that may hold clues to a wet history on the Red Planet. If the rock meets rover engineers’ approval when Curiosity rolls up to it in coming days, it will become the first to be drilled for a sample during the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

The size of a car, Curiosity is inside Mars’ Gale Crater investigating whether the planet ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life. Curiosity landed in the crater five months ago to begin its two-year prime mission.

This view shows the patch of veined, flat-lying rock selected as the first drilling site for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This view shows the patch of veined, flat-lying rock selected as the first drilling site for NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity to drill rock in ditch on Mars named Yellowknife Bay

 

Written Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The NASA Mars rover Curiosity this week is driving within a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay,” providing information to help researchers choose a rock to drill.

Using Curiosity’s percussive drill to collect a sample from the interior of a rock, a feat never before attempted on Mars, is the mission’s priority for early 2013. After the powdered-rock sample is sieved and portioned by a sample-processing mechanism on the rover’s arm, it will be analyzed by instruments inside Curiosity.

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its left Navigation Camera to record this view of the step down into a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its left Navigation Camera to record this view of the step down into a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay.” (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity’s fourth scoop of Martian Soil to be analyzed by Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument this week

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shook a scoopful of dusty sand inside its sample-handling mechanism on Sol 75 (October 21st, 2012) as the third scrubbing of interior surfaces of the mechanism.

The rover team is instructing the rover to deliver a sieved sample from this scoopful — the mission’s fourth — onto Curiosity’s observation tray on October 22nd and plans to analyze another sample from the same scoopful with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument later this week.

The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its laser and spectrometers to examine what chemical elements are in a drift of Martian sand during the mission's 74th Martian day, or sol (October 20th, 2012). Image (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGN/CNRS)

The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity used its laser and spectrometers to examine what chemical elements are in a drift of Martian sand during the mission’s 74th Martian day, or sol (October 20th, 2012). Image (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGN/CNRS)

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Martian Rock “Jake Matijevic” analysed by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover reveals Surprises

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The first Martian rock NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached out to touch presents a more varied composition than expected from previous missions. The rock also resembles some unusual rocks from Earth’s interior.

The rover team used two instruments on Curiosity to study the chemical makeup of the football-size rock called “Jake Matijevic” (matt-EE-oh-vick) The results support some surprising recent measurements and provide an example of why identifying rocks’ composition is such a major emphasis of the mission. Rock compositions tell stories about unseen environments and planetary processes.

This image shows where NASA's Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as "Jake Matijevic." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This image shows where NASA’s Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as “Jake Matijevic.” (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity completes examination of Maritan Rock “Jake Matijevic”

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s rover Curiosity touched a Martian rock with its robotic arm for the first time on September 22nd, assessing what chemical elements are in the rock called “Jake Matijevic.”

After a short drive the preceding day to get within arm’s reach of the football-size rock, Curiosity put its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument in contact with the rock during the rover’s 46th Martian day, or sol.

This image combines photographs taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at three different distances from the first Martian rock that NASA's Curiosity rover touched with its arm. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

This image combines photographs taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at three different distances from the first Martian rock that NASA’s Curiosity rover touched with its arm. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity for the first time uses it’s Laser to analyze a Rock on Mars

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – 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.

This composite image, with magnified insets, depicts the first laser test by the Chemistry and Camera, or ChemCam, instrument aboard NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP)

This composite image, with magnified insets, depicts the first laser test by the Chemistry and Camera, or ChemCam, instrument aboard NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP)

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Los Alamos instrument to shine light on Mars habitability

 

LANL ChemCam will help unravel mysteries of Red Planet’s composition

Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos Alamos, NM – With the successful launch of the Mars Science Laboratory on Saturday, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers and scientists from the French space institute IRAP are poised to begin focusing the energy of a million light bulbs on the surface of the Red Planet to help determine whether Mars was or is habitable.

The international team of space explorers that launched the Mars Science Laboratory last week is relying in part on an instrument originally developed at Los Alamos called ChemCam, which will use blasts of laser energy to remotely probe Mars’s surface. The robust ChemCam system is one of 10 instruments mounted on the mission’s rover vehicle, named Curiosity.

This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life.

This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life.

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