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 2778-2780: An Opportunity for Curiosity
    on 29 May 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    This week the science team decided not to drill a second hole next to the 'Glasgow' target, and so we're able to hit the road again this weekend. We're heading east, […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 2778-2780: An Opportunity for Curiosity
    on 29 May 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    This week the science team decided not to drill a second hole next to the 'Glasgow' target, and so we're able to hit the road again this weekend. We're heading east, past a large sand sheet, and toward the sulfate unit farther up the slopes of Mt. Sharp that Curiosity will be exploring in the […]

  • Sols 2775-2777: Final Activities at 'Glasgow'
    on 26 May 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity is finishing up at "Glasgow," having spent almost exactly one month here. A decision will be made shortly whether to do another drill hole nearby, or possibly back at "Glen Etive," or forego another drill operation. The drill material would be used for a wet chemistry experiment by SAM […]

  • Sols 2771-2774: Memorial Day – Not a Day Off on Mars!!
    on 22 May 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Drilling on Mars is an exciting business: those first images of a successful drill hole are always thrilling, even after 26 successful drill holes. Once the drilling is done though, each planning day becomes a battle to cram activities in, aiming to glean as much information as possible from the […]

  • Sols 2769-2770: Staring into the Distance at 'Glasgow'
    on 20 May 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity is still busy at 'Glasgow' with SAM analyzing the drill sample in the upcoming plan. This takes a lot of the rover's power, thus other activities have to wait just a little. But we are all looking forward to what SAM will find, so patience isn't a problem at all! Questions those SAM […]

  • Sol 2768: Chem-fest!
    on 19 May 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Carrying on with our drill campaign at the "Glasgow" site, today's one-sol plan is short, sweet, and all about collecting chemistry data with ChemCam and CheMin! The plan includes a single one-hour science block that is packed full of ChemCam observations of three nearby targets, including bedrock […]

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.