Perseverance rover’s SuperCam science instrument delivers first results

Perseverance rover’s SuperCam science instrument delivers first results
Combining two photos, this mosaic exhibits a close-up view of the rock goal named Yeehgo from the SuperCam instrument on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS/ASU/MSSS

The primary readings from the SuperCam instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover have arrived on Earth. SuperCam was developed collectively by the Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and a consortium of analysis laboratories beneath the auspices of the Centre Nationwide d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The instrument delivered knowledge to the French Area Company’s operations heart in Toulouse that features the primary audio of laser zaps on one other planet.


“It’s superb to see SuperCam so effectively on Mars,” stated Roger Wiens, the principal investigator for Perseverance’s SuperCam instrument from Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratory in New Mexico. “Once we first dreamed up this instrument eight years in the past, we fearful that we have been being approach too formidable. Now it’s up there working like a attraction.”

Perched atop the rover’s mast, SuperCam’s 12-pound (5.6-kilogram) sensor head can carry out 5 forms of analyses to check Mars’ geology and assist scientists select which rocks the rover ought to pattern in its seek for indicators of historical microbial life. For the reason that rover’s Feb. 18 landing, the mission has been performing well being checks on all of its techniques and subsystems. Early knowledge from SuperCam exams—together with sounds from the Pink Planet—have been intriguing.

“The sounds acquired are exceptional high quality,” says Naomi Murdoch, a analysis scientist and lecturer on the ISAE-SUPAERO aerospace engineering college in Toulouse. “It is unbelievable to assume that we will do science with the primary sounds ever recorded on the floor of Mars!”

Perseverance rover’s SuperCam science instrument delivers first results
This picture exhibits a close-up view of the rock goal named “Máaz” from the SuperCam instrument on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. It was taken by SuperCam’s Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) on March 2, 2021 (the 12th Martian day, or “sol,” Perseverance’s mission on Mars). “Máaz” means Mars within the Navajo language. NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS

On March 9, the mission launched three SuperCam audio information. Obtained solely about 18 after touchdown, when the mast remained stowed on the rover deck, the primary file captures the faint sounds of Martian wind.

“I wish to lengthen my honest thanks and congratulations to our worldwide companions at CNES and the SuperCam for being part of this momentous journey with us,” stated Thomas Zurbuchen, affiliate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “SuperCam actually offers our rover eyes to see promising rock samples and ears to listen to what it appears like when the lasers them. This data shall be important when figuring out which samples to cache and finally return to Earth by way of our groundbreaking Mars Pattern Return Marketing campaign, which shall be one of the formidable feats ever undertaken by humanity.”

Perseverance rover’s SuperCam science instrument delivers first results
Stitched collectively from 5 photos, this mosaic exhibits the calibration goal for the SuperCam instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. The part photos have been taken by SuperCam’s distant micro-imager (RMI) on March 1, 2, and 4, 2021 (the 11th, 12th, and 13th Martian days, or sols, of Perseverance’s mission on Mars). This calibration goal consists of visible parts for adjusting the main of the RMI, and numerous samples for the calibration of the instrument’s 4 spectrometers. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS

The SuperCam staff additionally acquired glorious first datasets from the instrument’s seen and infrared (VISIR) sensor in addition to its Raman spectrometer. VISIR collects gentle mirrored from the Solar to check the mineral content material of rocks and sediments. This enhances the Raman spectrometer, which makes use of a inexperienced laser beam to excite the in a pattern to provide a sign relying on what parts are bonded collectively, in flip offering insights right into a rock’s mineral composition.

“That is the primary time an instrument has used Raman spectroscopy wherever apart from on Earth!” stated Olivier Beyssac, CNRS analysis director on the Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie in Paris. “Raman spectroscopy goes to play an important position in characterizing minerals to achieve perception into the geological circumstances beneath which they fashioned and to detect potential natural and mineral molecules that may have been fashioned by dwelling organisms.”


All about the laser (and microphone) atop Mars 2020, NASA’s next rover


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Perseverance rover’s SuperCam science instrument delivers first outcomes (2021, March 11)
retrieved 11 March 2021
from https://phys.org/information/2021-03-perseverance-rover-supercam-science-instrument.html

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