Chemistry On Mars!
The Curiosity Rover’s Mission to Uncover Martian Habitability
Bytesize Science took a visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories to find out more about the Curiosity Rover’s mission to explore habitability (the ability for Mars to have supported life in the past) using an advanced onboard science lab.
Curiosity will use internal and external equipment from x-ray diffraction to laser spectrometry (shot from its “eye”!!) to do the same advanced chemical analysis that we can do here on Earth … only on Mars. This is the most advanced rover ever deployed, and should really be called a mobile laboratory.
I guess that is probably why the project is called “Mars Science Laboratory” … anyway …
As it roams Gale Crater, drilling its own samples and sending the mineral analysis back to Earth, NASA hopes to draw a timeline of early Martian geology. This way, we can see if the planet ever had conditions more supportive of life in the past.
SIX DAYS UNTIL LANDING, PEOPLE. SIX DAYS.