Article

Space Science Reviews

, Volume 170, Issue 1, pp 401-478

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite

  • Paul R. MahaffyAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center Email author 
  • , Christopher R. WebsterAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
  • , Michel CabaneAffiliated withUPMC Univ. Paris 06, Université Versailles St-Quentin, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL
  • , Pamela G. ConradAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Patrice CollAffiliated withDenis Diderot et CNRS, Membre de l’Institut Universitaire de France, CMC, LISA, Universités Paris Est-Créteil, Paris 7
  • , Sushil K. AtreyaAffiliated withDepartment of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan
  • , Robert ArveyAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Michael BarciniakAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Mehdi BennaAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Lora BleacherAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , William B. BrinckerhoffAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Jennifer L. EigenbrodeAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Daniel CarignanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Mark CasciaAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Robert A. ChalmersAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Jason P. DworkinAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Therese ErrigoAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Paula EversonAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Heather FranzAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Rodger FarleyAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Steven FengAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Gregory FrazierAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Caroline FreissinetAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Daniel P. GlavinAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Daniel N. HarpoldAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Douglas HawkAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Vincent HolmesAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Christopher S. JohnsonAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Andrea JonesAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Patrick JordanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , James KelloggAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Jesse LewisAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Eric LynessAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Charles A. MalespinAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , David K. MartinAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , John MaurerAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Amy C. McAdamAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Douglas McLennanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Thomas J. NolanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Marvin NoriegaAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Alexander A. PavlovAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Benito PratsAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Eric RaaenAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Oren SheinmanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , David SheppardAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , James SmithAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Jennifer C. SternAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Florence TanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Melissa TrainerAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • , Douglas W. MingAffiliated withNASA Johnson Space Center
    • , Richard V. MorrisAffiliated withNASA Johnson Space Center
    • , John JonesAffiliated withNASA Johnson Space Center
    • , Cindy GundersenAffiliated withAMU Engineering
    • , Andrew SteeleAffiliated withGeophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington
    • , James WrayAffiliated withSchool of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
    • , Oliver BottaAffiliated withSwiss Space Office
    • , Laurie A. LeshinAffiliated withDepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • , Tobias OwenAffiliated withInstitute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii
    • , Steve BattelAffiliated withBattel Engineering
    • , Bruce M. JakoskyAffiliated withLaboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado
    • , Heidi ManningAffiliated withConcordia College
    • , Steven SquyresAffiliated withDepartment of Astronomy, Cornell University
    • , Rafael Navarro-GonzálezAffiliated withLaboratorio de Química de Plasmas y Estudios Planetarios, Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
    • , Christopher P. McKayAffiliated withNASA Ames Research Center
    • , Francois RaulinAffiliated withLISA, Universités Paris Est-Créteil, Paris 7, Denis Diderot et CNRS, CMC
    • , Robert SternbergAffiliated withLISA, Universités Paris Est-Créteil, Paris 7, Denis Diderot et CNRS, CMC
    • , Arnaud BuchAffiliated withEcole Centrale de Paris
    • , Paul SorensenAffiliated withCreare Corporation
    • , Robert Kline-SchoderAffiliated withCreare Corporation
    • , David CosciaAffiliated withUPMC Univ. Paris 06, Université Versailles St-Quentin, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL
    • , Cyril SzopaAffiliated withUPMC Univ. Paris 06, Université Versailles St-Quentin, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL
    • , Samuel TeinturierAffiliated withUPMC Univ. Paris 06, Université Versailles St-Quentin, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL
    • , Curt BaffesAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Jason FeldmanAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Greg FleschAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Siamak ForouharAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Ray GarciaAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Didier KeymeulenAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Steve WoodwardAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory
    • , Bruce P. BlockAffiliated withSpace Physics Research Laboratory, University of Michigan
    • , Ken ArnettAffiliated withSpace Physics Research Laboratory, University of Michigan
    • , Ryan MillerAffiliated withSpace Physics Research Laboratory, University of Michigan
    • , Charles EdmonsonAffiliated withSpace Physics Research Laboratory, University of Michigan
    • , Stephen GorevanAffiliated withHoneybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation
    • , Erik MummAffiliated withHoneybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation

Abstract

The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) addresses the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere and volatiles extracted from solid samples. The SAM investigation is designed to contribute substantially to the mission goal of quantitatively assessing the habitability of Mars as an essential step in the search for past or present life on Mars. SAM is a 40 kg instrument suite located in the interior of MSL’s Curiosity rover. The SAM instruments are a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and a 6-column gas chromatograph all coupled through solid and gas processing systems to provide complementary information on the same samples. The SAM suite is able to measure a suite of light isotopes and to analyze volatiles directly from the atmosphere or thermally released from solid samples. In addition to measurements of simple inorganic compounds and noble gases SAM will conduct a sensitive search for organic compounds with either thermal or chemical extraction from sieved samples delivered by the sample processing system on the Curiosity rover’s robotic arm.

Keywords

Mars, organic compounds Volatiles Isotopes Evolved gas analysis Gas chromatography mass spectrometry Noble gases Habitability Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Gale crater