Mars rover equipped with instrument from LANL | KOB 4
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Mars rover equipped with instrument from LANL

Brett Luna
Updated: July 14, 2020 06:23 PM
Created: July 14, 2020 05:50 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Los Alamos National Lab scientists are part of the new Mars Rover mission.

The rover, which launches in late July, will do something its never done before.

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"That is to collect samples of soil but especially rock samples that will tell us about Mars past history and look for life in ways that we could never do before," said Roger Weins, supercam principal investigator on the Perserverance Rover.

One of the instruments on the rover is called "supercam," a project headed up by Wiens.

It was hailed by NASA as a kind of Swiss army knife-type of instrument.
 
Supercam can study the chemistry or rocks and soils around the rover anywhere from 25 feet away. It also studies the mineralogy of the rocks or gems or whatever it finds.  

'It fires a laser up to 25 feet away from the rover to do a lot of reconnaissance," Wiens said. 

The Perseverance Rover is going to land in Jezero Crater.

"On earth, a lot of our sedimentary rocks are limestone types of carbonates. On Mars, we haven't found that yet but we have indications that Jezero Crater has that same material," Wiens said. 

Supercam also has a microphone on board. It'll be the first one to hear the sounds of wind on Mars.


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