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 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 […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • 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

  • Sols 2673-2675: Ongoing Analyses at Hutton
    on 12 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity is parked at the "Hutton" drill site, just below the contact with the overlying Greenheugh pediment. After a successful drill last week, the rover has been focused on ongoing analyses of the drill sample and further characterization of this site. Yesterday's activities focused on the […]

  • Sol 2672: Continuing to Explore Hutton
    on 11 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    ​The Curiosity rover is currently located at Hutton, where she successfully completed her 24th drill last week. Once it became clear that the drilling had performed as expected, we began to settle in for our stay here at Hutton; we have been here for 8 sols and we will be here for many more. […]

  • Sols 2669-2671 Successful Drill at Hutton!
    on 10 February 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    We were greeted this morning with images of our newest (and 24th!) drill hole on the surface of Mars! The Front Hazcam image above shows the drill in action at target "Hutton." As a fitting celebration, a box of donut holes was passed around the ops rooms at JPL. Our weekend plan of activities […]

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.