Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Los Alamos laser selected for 2020 Mars mission

SuperCam builds upon the successful capabilities demonstrated aboard the Curiosity Rover during NASA’s current Mars Mission.
December 22, 2014
SuperCam builds upon the successful capabilities demonstrated aboard the Curiosity Rover during NASA’s current Mars Mission.

SuperCam builds upon the successful capabilities demonstrated aboard the Curiosity Rover during NASA’s current Mars Mission

Contact  

  • James Rickman
  • Communications Office
  • (505) 665-9203
  • Email
“We are extremely excited to be going to Mars again,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory planetary scientist Roger Wiens, Principal Investigator of the newly selected SuperCam team and current principal investigator of the Curiosity Rover’s ChemCam Team.

Los Alamos laser selected for 2020 Mars mission

Laser technology originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been selected for NASA’s new Mars mission in 2020.

The SuperCam instrument will allow researchers to sample rocks and other targets from a distance using a laser. In addition to harnessing Los-Alamos developed Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technology—which can determine the elemental composition of the target from more than 20 feet away—SuperCam adds another spectrum to its laser for Raman and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy: A technique partially refined at Los Alamos and the University of Hawaii that provides the molecular makeup of a target, therefore allowing geologists to determine mineralogy and search for organic materials.

SuperCam represents a significant upgrade to the highly successful ChemCam instrument aboard the Curiosity rover, a rolling science laboratory that has helped researchers confirm the presence of water on Mars.

Among other mission objectives, the Mars 2020 rover will help advance knowledge of how future human explorers could use natural resources available on the surface of the Red Planet.


Visit Blogger Join Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter See our Flickr Photos Watch Our YouTube Videos Find Us on LinkedIn Find Us on iTunesFind Us on GooglePlayFind Us on Instagram