Curiosity’s Chemistry Instruments

  • Emily Lakdawalla
Chapter
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

Curiosity has four instruments that study the chemistry of Martian materials. Two of them focus on elemental abundances. ChemCam is a remote sensing instrument, able to detect the elemental composition of a rock or soil from a distance of up to 7 meters by shooting it with a laser, a technique deployed in space for the first time on Curiosity. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a contact science instrument to examine the compositions of rocks and soils reached by the arm, and has a long Martian heritage.

REFERENCES

  1. Atreya S et al (2013) Primordial argon isotope fractionation in the atmosphere of Mars measured by the SAM instrument on Curiosity and implications for atmospheric loss. Geophys. Res. Lett. 40:5605–5609, DOI: 10.1002/2013GL057763Google Scholar
  2. Berger J et al (2014) MSL-APXS titanium observation tray measurements: Laboratory experiments and results for the Rocknest fines at the Curiosity field site in Gale Crater, Mars. J Geophys Res 119:1046–1060, DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004519Google Scholar
  3. Berger J et al (2016) A global Mars dust composition refined by the Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer in Gale Crater. Geophys Res Lett 43:67–75, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066675Google Scholar
  4. Blake D et al (2012) Characterization and calibration of the CheMin mineralogical instrument on Mars Science Laboratory. Space Sci Rev 170:341–399, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9905-1Google Scholar
  5. Campbell et al (2012) Calibration of the Mars Science Laboratory Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Space Sci Rev 170:319–340, DOI 10.1007/s11214-012-9873-5Google Scholar
  6. Conrad P et al (2016) In situ measurement of atmospheric krypton and xenon on Mars with Mars Science Laboratory. Earth Planet Sci Lett 454:1–9, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.08.028Google Scholar
  7. Cousin A et al (2014) ChemCam blind targets: a helpful way of analyzing soils and rocks along the traverse. Paper presented at the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 17–21 Mar 2014Google Scholar
  8. Dickinson C S et al (2012) APXS on Mars Science Laboratory - First results from post-landing checkout. Presentation to the International Workshop on Instrumentation for Planetary Missions, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA 10–12 Oct 2012Google Scholar
  9. Downs R and the MSL Science Team (2015) Determining mineralogy on Mars with the CheMin X-ray diffractometer. Elements 11:45–50, DOI: 10.2113/gselements.11.1.45Google Scholar
  10. Farley K et al (2014) In situ radiometric and exposure age dating of the Martian surface. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1247166Google Scholar
  11. Francis R et al (2016) AEGIS intelligent targeting deployed for the Curiosity rover’s ChemCam instrument. Paper presented at the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 21–25 Mar 2016Google Scholar
  12. Francis R et al (2017) AEGIS autonomous targeting for ChemCam on MSL: Results from the first 220 sols of routine science operations. Paper presented at the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 20–24 Mar 2017Google Scholar
  13. Franz H et al (2017) Initial SAM calibration gas experiments on Mars: Quadrupole mass spectrometer results and implications. Pl Space Sci 138:44–54, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2017.01.014Google Scholar
  14. Gellert R et al (2009) The Alpha-Particle-X-ray-Spectrometer (APXS) for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission. Paper presented at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 23–27 Mar 2009Google Scholar
  15. Gellert R et al (2015) In Situ Compositional Measurements of Rocks and Soils with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on NASA’s Mars Rovers. Elements 11:39–44, DOI: 10.2113/gselements.11.1.39Google Scholar
  16. JPL (2009) Sample Analysis at Mars. https://msl-scicorner.jpl.nasa.gov/Instruments/SAM/ Accessed 29 Apr 2016.Google Scholar
  17. Lakdawalla E (2013) DPS 2013: Confusing Curiosity SAM results. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/10151336-dps-2013-confusing-curiosity.html Article dated 15 Oct 2013, accessed 12 Apr 2017Google Scholar
  18. Lanza N et al (2016) Oxidation of manganese in an ancient aquifer, Kimberley formation, Gale crater, Mars. Geo. Res. Lett. 43:7398–7407, DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069109Google Scholar
  19. Léveillé et al (2015) Jarosite in Gale crater, Mars: The importance of temporal and spatial variability and implications for habitability. Paper presented at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 16–20 Mar 2015Google Scholar
  20. Mahaffy P et al (2012) The Sample Analysis at Mars investigation and instrument suite. Space Sci Rev 170:401–478, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9879-zGoogle Scholar
  21. Mahaffy P et al (2013) Abundance and isotopic composition of gases in the Martian atmosphere from the Curiosity rover (supplementary materials). Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1237966Google Scholar
  22. Maurice S et al (2012) The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover: science objectives and mast unit description. Space Sci Rev 170:95–166, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9902-4Google Scholar
  23. Maurice S et al (2016) ChemCam activities and discoveries during the nominal mission of the Mars Science Laboratory in Gale crater, Mars. J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 31:863–889, DOI: 10.1039/C5JA00417AGoogle Scholar
  24. Millan M et al (2016) In situ analysis of Martian regolith with the SAM experiment during the first Mars year of the MSL mission: Identification of organic molecules by gas chromatography from laboratory measurements. Pl Space Sci 129:88–102, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2016.06.007Google Scholar
  25. Morris R et al (2016) Silicic volcanism on Mars evidenced by tridymite in high-SiO2 sedimentary rock at Gale crater. PNAS 113:7071–7076, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1607098113Google Scholar
  26. Ollila A et al (2014) Trace element geochemistry (Li, Ba, Sr, and Rb) using Curiosity’s ChemCam: Early results for Gale crater from Bradbury Landing Site to Rocknest. J. Geophys. Res. Planets 119:255–285, DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004517Google Scholar
  27. Peret L et al (2016) Restoration of the autofocus capability of the ChemCam instrument onboard the Curiosity rover. Paper presented at the 14th International Conference on Space Operations, Daejeon, Korea, 16–20 May 2016Google Scholar
  28. Perrett G et al (2017) Dust modelling on Martian rock surfaces studied by the Mars Science Laboratory Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Paper presented at the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 20–24 Mar 2017Google Scholar
  29. Peters S et al (2016) Celestial aspects of Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam sun-safety. Paper presented at the 39th Annual AAS Guidance & Control Conference, Breckenridge, Colorado, 5–10 Feb 2016.Google Scholar
  30. Schmidt M et al (2016) APXS classification of lower Mount Sharp bedrock: Silica enrichment and acid alteration. Paper presented at the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 21–25 Mar 2016Google Scholar
  31. Slavney S (2013) Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument information. In Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) APXS EDR Data Archive.Google Scholar
  32. Thompson L et al (2016) Potassium-rich sandstones within the Gale impact crater, Mars: The APXS perspective. J. Geophys. Res. 121:1981–2003, DOI: 10.1002/2016JE005055Google Scholar
  33. Treiman et al (2016) Mineralogy, provenance, and diagenesis of a potassic basaltic sandstone on Mars: CheMin X-ray diffraction of the Windjana sample (Kimberley area, Gale Crater). J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121:75–106, DOI: 10.1002/2015JE004932Google Scholar
  34. Vaniman D et al (2014) Mineralogy of a mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1243480Google Scholar
  35. Webster C et al (2014) Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater (supplementary materials). Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1261713Google Scholar
  36. Wiens R et al (2012) The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests. SSR 170:167–227, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9912-2Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Lakdawalla
    • 1
  1. 1.The Planetary SocietyPasadenaUSA

Personalised recommendations