Mars Science Laboratory's
This is my artist's conception of
the use of MSL's ChemCam instrument to identify chemical composition
of a rock sample on the surface of Mars. My scene shows both
ChemCam's laser beam and MSL's arm reaching out to collect a
sample with it's instrument turret.
ChemCam will use a laser beam to
remove dust from rock surfaces which will allow remote sensing
by the MSL rover from a distance of up to 25 feet. The ChemCam
suite combines laser-induced breakdown spectography (LIBS) with
a remote micro-imager. The laser will send powerful pulses towards
a rock and then analyse the light emitted. ChemCam will be able
to detect all the elements in the target and allow rapid identification
of the minerals and rocks under investigation.
ChemCam is led by a team at the Los
Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des
Rayonnements in Toulouse, France.