Thursday, August 16, 2012

MS/Curiosity: Color-Coded Instrument Rundown

Rover Instruments

The above image is a color-coded chart identifying the ten science instruments aboard the Curiosity rove. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Still confused about the science instruments aboard NASA's Mars Science Laboratory / Curiosity rover? Well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a figure showing the location of the ten science instruments on the rover.

There are four categories of instruments: the remote sensing instruments Mastcam (Mast Camera) and ChemCam (Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Chemistry and Microimaging) located on the remote sensing mast; the contact science instruments APXS (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) and MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) located on the end of the robotic arm; the analytical laboratory instruments CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) and SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) located inside the rover body; and the environmental instruments RAD (Radiation Assessment Detector), DAN (Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons), REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station), and MARDI (Mars Descent Imager).

The Mars Science Laboratory / Curiosity rover mission is managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C., by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (Caltech). More information about Curiosity is online at www.nasa.gov/msl and mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl . You can follow the mission on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .

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