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

  • Sol 2688-2689: Into the Unknown
    on 26 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Over the last couple of weeks, the Curiosity science team engaged in a series of long debates about where we should go after we completed our analyses of the Hutton […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sol 2688-2689: Into the Unknown
    on 26 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Over the last couple of weeks, the Curiosity science team engaged in a series of long debates about where we should go after we completed our analyses of the Hutton sample. Our first option was to drive downhill and rejoin the strategically planned route that skirts the base of the Greenheugh […]

  • Sol 2686-2687: The Tail End of the Hutton Drill Campaign
    on 24 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    We're wrapping up our Hutton drill campaign literally at the tail end. Specifically, today's plan focused on studying those drill "tailings" (the gray material surrounding the drill hole in this MAHLI image) with ChemCam, Mastcam, MAHLI, and APXS. This phase of the drill campaign helps compare […]

  • Sol 2683-2685: And Still Using 'Many a Joule'!
    on 21 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    The title of this blog is a quote from my fellow blogger Dawn Sumner's poem in the sol 2676 to 2679 blog, and it seems the best way to capture our struggles once again. The reason for the focus on power is that we are still in the middle of the Hutton drill campaign. This gives us lots of things to […]

  • Sols 2680-2682: Can You Smell What Sam Is Cooking?
    on 19 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    ​Curiosity kicked off her fifth Mars Year with a successful and busy weekend, running both CheMin and SAM to increase our knowledge of the mineralogy, chemistry and isotopic composition of the "Hutton" drill sample. Based on the weekend's results, SAM elected to analyze a second batch of […]

  • Sols 2676-2679: 4 Sols of Love for Curiosity!
    on 14 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Drilling on Mars!It was great to spend the morning of Valentine's day with the rover I love the most! Written by Dawn Sumner, Planetary Geologist at University of California Davis

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.