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

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ChemCam mosaic

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 2653-2655: Attitude Adjustment
    on 21 January 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Last Friday's plan was designed to ensure Curiosity had enough knowledge of its orientation to proceed with arm activities and mobility. We learned this morning that […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 2653-2655: Attitude Adjustment
    on 21 January 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Last Friday's plan was designed to ensure Curiosity had enough knowledge of its orientation to proceed with arm activities and mobility. We learned this morning that plan was successful and Curiosity was ready for science once more! And a very full science plan was made! Much of today's plan was […]

  • Sols 2649-2652: Curiosity Loses Its Attitude
    on 20 January 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Knowing where our bodies are helps us move through the world. We know if we are standing or sitting, if our arms are out or by our sides (or for some people, not there at all). This body awareness is essential for staying safe. Rovers also need to know where their bodies are relative to their […]

  • Sols 2645-2646: A Strange Trough on Western Butte
    on 13 January 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    While descending from Western Butte, Curiosity has stopped to investigate a strange trough along the way. In the images from orbit, it looks like someone drew a thick straight line with a dark felt marker on the southeastern side of the butte. From the ground, it looks like a shallow ditch filled […]

  • Sols 2642-2644: Contact Science at Western Butte
    on 11 January 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity is still on the shoulder of Western Butte at a location that provides a good vantage point, exposes changes in stratigraphy, and reveals some interesting float blocks in our workspace. On Wednesday (planning Sols 2640-2641) we were able to conduct contact science on a bedrock target […]

  • Sols 2640-2641: Like a Dog Under the Table…
    on 9 January 2020 at 0 h 00 min

    The Curiosity rover is still at the highest point it will reach on "Western Butte," having done a short bump to allow it to do contact science. You can check out the map of Curiosity's location here. The team would like to understand the composition, morphology, and ultimately, the origin of the […]

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.