Mars rover depends on three LANL technologies

Mars rover depends on three LANL technologies

Curiosity zaps Mars for vital signs: Designed by Lab team, ChemCam looks for crucial elements such as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.

Curiosity rover zaps Mars for life signs

Three Los Alamos technologies are aboard the Mars Science Laboratory mission’s Curiosity rover, set to touch down on the surface of the Red Planet in August 2012.

  • Radioisotope batteries are providing power and heat—these power sources will help drive the 10 scientific instruments on board the vehicle

  • ChemCam (pictured in the illustration) is mounted on the rover's mast and uses extremely powerful pulses of laser light to vaporize pinhead-sized areas of the Martian surface from as far away as 23 feet. The tiny flashes created by these pulses will be analyzed by a spectrometer to provide scientists with crucial information about the composition of Mars surface materials

  • CheMin uses X-ray diffraction to determine the composition of samples that are collected and dropped into a funnel on the rover


Keywords: ChemCam CheMin Curiosity Rover Mars Radioisotope batteris

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