- Why go to Mars?
- Seeking signs of habitability
- Where to look?
- Destination: Gale crater
- Rover vision
- Surface and atmospheric studies
- Curiosity's arm
- Curiosity's hand
- Chemistry and mineralogy
- SAM Instruments
- Preparing for landing
- Entry, descent & landing
- MSL Brief
- Curiosity landing simulation
Say 'Ahh' on Mars. This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the open inlet where powdered rock and soil samples will be funneled down for analysis. CheMin (short for Chemistry and Mineralogy) will identify the minerals in samples of powdered rock or soil.
Dr. David Blake (principal investigator of the CheMin) gives a nice overview of CheMin in this video:
How do we interpret the data?
X-ray pass through the material which causes them to diffract in circular patterns which are captured with an image sensor. These patterns appear as rings which can be analyzed for mineral and elemental composition. The colors in the graphic below represent the intensity of the X-rays, with red being the most intense.
How do we analyze these patterns?
Segment from a full demonstration by Dr. David Blake (see below) where he explains how we analyze data from CheMin:
Want to join the conversation?
- How does the curiosity drive without getting buried?(3 votes)
- Curiosity has specially designed wheels.The rover drivers created paths with less sand and such hazardous materials and made drive Curiosity through them.(2 votes)
- How does curiosity rover get back from mars?(1 vote)
- At2:32he says that those Lowery (don't know if this is how you spell it) Rings or Dubai (I don't know how to spell this) Rings and then those get sent down to Earth and they study them. Then he says that that is how they study things that are millions or billions of years old, what I want to know is how they actually KNOW if those analysis' are correct? How are they supposed to physically prove them to be correct?(2 votes)
- They probably do the same tests on Earth to know if the quantitative data is correct. As for how old it is, they probably have other techniques (Radiometric Dating?) which they can refer to and test if it's accurate / gives the same results.(0 votes)
- What does the curiosity do on mars anyway?(0 votes)
- - Investigate the composition of the martian soil
- Interpret rock processes and formations
- Investigate the evolution of martian atmosphere
- Determine the state of CO2 and water at present
- Measure the radiation and investigate the spectrum of radiation on mars and while on the journey there.(3 votes)