Mars rover Curiosity sent the first sample in its own laboratory

19/10/2012

Mars rover Curiosity sent the first batch of Martian soil to its "belly" — located in the inside of his body in the chemical and mineralogical laboratory CheMin, says NASA.


"Getting started with the first sample CheMin — an important step in the course of the mission. This tool is based on the most precise method of mineralogical analysis that has ever been used on Mars — X-ray diffraction," — says researcher John Grottsinger mission (John Grotzinger).

"Identification of minerals is important because the mineral composition reflects the environmental conditions under which they were formed," — he said.

The first soil sample for CheMin unit volume with aspirin was obtained after the third of a series of "warm-up" attempts to gather sand dredge device on the rover's robot arm.

In previous attempts rover using portions of the surface of the ground cleared the channels through which the samples are forwarded inside the rover from possible terrestrial contamination.

Earlier, the rover out of the schedule due to light fragments found around the unit. One of them is the size of about 1.3 cm was a piece of plastic, protects electronic components from damage during flight and landing system.


Other bright objects the size of 0.5 to 2 millimeters, stand out against the background of sand, are, according to scientists, the Martian mineral.

"We hope to find out more about the fragment rover, and these light particles" — said the program manager Curiosity Richard Cook (Richard Cook).

Work rover continues, despite the lack of "support from above" — probe MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), which relays the data back to Earth from Curiosity, approximately one Martian day ago went into safe mode.

Scientists were able to successfully return the probe to normal, and now he is preparing to return to work repeater.

Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6. On board Curiosity are ten scientific instruments a total weight of 75 pounds, which will allow the rover to carry out detailed geological and geochemical studies, to study the atmosphere and climate of the planet, look for water and traces of the organic matter and determine — whether Mars was once suitable for life, and is there a place suitable for life now.

 

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