NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity got the neutron scanner developed in Russia


On the new NASA Mars Rover Curiosity set a unique neutron scanner that allows to detect water under the surface.
Mars Science Laboratory mission will use 10 different scientific instruments and One of the most important instruments for the search for water is made in close cooperation with "the Russian Federal Space Agency." DAN neutron tool was developed at the "Institute for Space Studies" (Russia).

As one of the developers of the neutron scanner Igor Mitrofanov, DAN instrument works on the basis of technology, which has already helped to find Martian water from orbit of the Red Planet. The essence consists in the use of high energy neutrons, which penetrate into the ground and reflected from hydrogen atoms with a characteristic decrease in the energy level. This will enable Curiosity to reliably identify underground chunks of ice and water-saturated layers at a depth of 50 cm

Neutron scanner sensitive detection in soil water in an amount less than one-tenth percent. Generator designed for 10 million to 10 million pulses of neutrons in each. This will make about 10 million images, and scientists now make up a strategic plan for the use of the resource DAN.

The neutron generator is mounted on the right side of the rover and will work throughout the mission, searching for water under the Martian surface.

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