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 2810-2815: No Holidays on Mars
    on 1 July 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    To give the (American) Earthlings a holiday on Friday, we planned 5 sols of activities for Curiosity today. But our rover will certainly not be taking any days off, with […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 2810-2815: No Holidays on Mars
    on 1 July 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    To give the (American) Earthlings a holiday on Friday, we planned 5 sols of activities for Curiosity today. But our rover will certainly not be taking any days off, with a mix of science and engineering activities over the long weekend. We are continuing to update the rover computer's flight […]

  • Sols 2805-2809: Pit Stop for Curiosity
    on 26 June 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    We drove in our last plan, about 15 metres, ending up with some bedrock and sand in our workspace. Normally, Fridays are our busiest day in the geology theme group (GEO). We choose targets for contact science, with lots of back and forth between all the geochemistry, camera and engineering teams, […]

  • Sols 2803-2804: A Drive to a View
    on 24 June 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    As much as the science team loves seeing Mars up close, sometimes the view isn't quite as pretty for the engineering team. As the rover gets closer to hills or cliffs, like 'Bloodstone Hill' that we just left, we encounter boulders that have rolled downslope (as they are wont to do), creating […]

  • Sol 2802: Finishing Observations at 'Bloodstone Hill'
    on 23 June 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Last week while giving a talk on Mars, I was reminded of the times when, as a kid, I used to sketch the features of the Red Planet seen through a telescope in my back yard. It is possible to see some of those features (polar caps, darker and brighter albedo regions, and sometimes clouds) with a […]

  • Sol 2801: Keep Running Up That Hill?
    on 22 June 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    'Bloodstone Hill' continued to present a challenge to us over the weekend, when our second attempt to reach an ideal spot for contact science failed. The hill is steep and rocky, making it harder to gain traction. But ultimately, the sulfate unit is more of a priority to the science team, so we'll […]

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.