ChemCam at a glance

The ChemCam instrument is an international collaboration led by Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States and the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in France.

 

ChemCam is on the Curiosity rover, exploring Gale Crater at Mars since 2012. It is used to perform rapid chemical and microscopic reconnaissance

 

Pulsed laser vaporizes targets up to 5 meters away. The spectrum of light from the laser-induced plasma reveals the chemical composition of the targets in seconds. ChemCam can detect most elements!

 

It also provides images of targets with high-resolution (can see a human hair 2 meters away).

ChemCam slide show

  • slide show

ChemCam mosaic

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 2960-2961: Marching Forward!
    on 3 December 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity continues to make swift progress on her climb up Mt. Sharp. After ascending a relatively steep portion over the last few weeks, Curiosity is now on "flatter" […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 2960-2961: Marching Forward!
    on 3 December 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity continues to make swift progress on her climb up Mt. Sharp. After ascending a relatively steep portion over the last few weeks, Curiosity is now on "flatter" ground and covering lots of ground with each drive. At today's location, Curiosity is stopped to investigate the local bedrock […]

  • Sol 2959: A Late Slide and a Touch-and-Go at 'Edinburrie'
    on 1 December 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Planning today started 3 hours later than normal (known as a "late slide sol") due to the late arrival of data relative to Earth time. We were all eagerly awaiting the results when they came down around 11am Pacific, confirming that yesterday's ~51 m drive went well and we have some good outcrop […]

  • Sol 2958: Digesting a Long Weekend Full of Data
    on 30 November 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    While many in the U.S. spent the long weekend resting and giving thanks, Curiosity was hard at work investigating rocky outcrops and driving back to the path that we've planned to ascend Mt. Sharp. The ~69 meters drive over the weekend put the rover in front of the patch of outcrop seen in the […]

  • Sols 2951-2953: Pre-Holiday Scramble
    on 24 November 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Our weekend drive stopped a bit shorter than planned when Curiosity played it safe rolling up a particularly steep (~20 degrees) slope pictured above. But even with the rover parked at a tilt, we could still accomplish all our desired science at this stage of our drive back up Mount Sharp. We will […]

  • Sols 2949-2950: It Never Rains in… Gale Crater
    on 20 November 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Here in the UK we are going into winter season, when raindrops on the window are the regular background music, accompanied by the noise of wind that can get quite fierce at times. While it doesn't rain in Gale crater, Curiosity is quite familiar with wind, and she watches out for the atmospheric […]

Last 5 peer-reviewed ChemCam-related publications

(1) Thomas, N. H.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Rapin, W.; Anderson, D. E.; Rivera‐Hernández, F.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Mangold, N.; et al. Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters 2019, 46 (19), 10754–10763. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL082764.
(2) Rapin, W.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Dromart, G.; Schieber, J.; Thomas, N. H.; Fischer, W. W.; Fox, V. K.; Stein, N. T.; Nachon, M.; Clark, B. C.; et al. An Interval of High Salinity in Ancient Gale Crater Lake on Mars. Nat. Geosci. 2019, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0458-8.
(3) Savijärvi, H.; McConnochie, T. H.; Harri, A.-M.; Paton, M. Water Vapor Mixing Ratios and Air Temperatures for Three Martian Years from Curiosity. Icarus 2019, 326, 170–175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.03.020.
(4) Schröder, S.; Rammelkamp, K.; Vogt, D. S.; Gasnault, O.; Hübers, H.-W. Contribution of a Martian Atmosphere to Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Data and Testing Its Emission Characteristics for Normalization Applications. Icarus 2019, 325, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.02.017.
(5) Sun, V. Z.; Stack, K. M.; Kah, L. C.; Thompson, L.; Fischer, W.; Williams, A. J.; Johnson, S. S.; Wiens, R. C.; Kronyak, R. E.; Nachon, M.; et al. Late-Stage Diagenetic Concretions in the Murray Formation, Gale Crater, Mars. Icarus 2019, 321, 866–890. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2018.12.030.