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Lab instruments inside Curiosity eat Mars rock powder

Date:
February 25, 2013
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Two compact laboratories inside NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have ingested portions of the first sample of rock powder ever collected from the interior of a rock on Mars. Curiosity science team members will use the laboratories to analyze the rock powder in the coming days and weeks.

The left Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity took this image of Curiosity's sample-processing and delivery tool just after the tool delivered a portion of powdered rock into the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. This Collection and Handling for In-situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) tool delivered portions of the first sample ever acquired from the interior of a rock on Mars into both SAM and the rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. The delivery to CheMin was during the 195th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Feb. 22, 2013). The delivery to SAM and subsequent repositioning of CHIMRA to present this side toward Mastcam, were on Sol 196 (Feb. 23, 2013).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Two compact laboratories inside NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have ingested portions of the first sample of rock powder ever collected from the interior of a rock on Mars.

Curiosity science team members will use the laboratories to analyze the rock powder in the coming days and weeks.

The rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments received portions of the sample on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, respectively, and began inspecting the powder.

"Data from the instruments have confirmed the deliveries," said Curiosity Mission Manager Jennifer Trosper of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The powder comes from Curiosity drilling into rock target "John Klein" on Feb. 8. One or more additional portions from the same initial sample may be delivered to the instruments as analysis proceeds.

During a two-year prime mission, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 science instruments to assess whether the study area in Gale Crater on Mars ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl , http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .

You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Lab instruments inside Curiosity eat Mars rock powder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225185603.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2013, February 25). Lab instruments inside Curiosity eat Mars rock powder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225185603.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Lab instruments inside Curiosity eat Mars rock powder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225185603.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

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