https://api.flickr.com/services/rest/?method=flickr.photos.getInfo&api_key=52ad2d7748dfc36c56b3f906eb55437b&photo_id=6544537711&secret=13b92c7c38&format=rest LANL's Roger Wiens with life-size model of the Curiosity roverThe Curiosity rover, key to NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, bears three systems that Los Alamos National Laboratory helped develop.
ChemCam is a laser spectrometer and telecope device, the brainchild of Wiens, who works at Los Alamos. He created the devicewWith a team of 40 people at LANL and the collaboration of the French space institute IRAP. It will blast rocks from as far as 7 meters (23 feet), vaporize bits of their surfaces, and spectroscopically determine their chemical composition.
The Chemistry and Mineralogy "ChemMin" analyzer, whose deputy principal investigator is LANL's David Vaniman, will use X-ray diffraction and fluuorescence to identify and quantify minerals in sediment and soil samples.
The third LANL-related component is the heat-producing Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator unit. It powers the rover and keeps the instruments from freezing solid . The generator's plutonium 238 heat sources were produced at Los Alamos several years before the mission launch, developed by a team of more than 40 staff members.0marsrovercuriositynasajplsciencelaboratorychemcamcheminlaseriraphttps://www.flickr.com/photos/losalamosnatlab/6544537711/