Home > Agencies & Organisations, Astronomy, Curiosity, Mars, NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration), Solar System, Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight > Curiosity’s First Tastes Of Martian Soil Offer Insights On Mineral Composition

Curiosity’s First Tastes Of Martian Soil Offer Insights On Mineral Composition


NASA’s Curiosity rover has taken its first bites out of the Martian surface and used the materials scooped up, sieved and portioned to cleanse the palate of the rover’s sample collection system of any contaminants that may have come from Earth, said David Vaniman, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

A portion of the soil was delivered to the rover’s Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin), which uses X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence to identify and measure the abundance of minerals on Mars. This marks the first in-situ use of X-ray diffraction on another planet, said Vaniman, deputy Principal Investigator for CheMin.

“The first results show that the Martian soil consists of local, regional and global components,“ Vaniman said. “Their origin and history is complex and may reveal much about local weathering as well as global processes far removed from the Gale Crater landing site.”

Full Story: http://www.psi.edu/news/press-releases#vanimanmars

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