Curiosity’s Chemistry Instruments

  • Emily Lakdawalla
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


Curiosity has four instruments that study the chemistry of Martian materials. Two of them focus on elemental abundances. ChemCam is a remote sensing instrument, able to detect the elemental composition of a rock or soil from a distance of up to 7 meters by shooting it with a laser, a technique deployed in space for the first time on Curiosity. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a contact science instrument to examine the compositions of rocks and soils reached by the arm, and has a long Martian heritage.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Lakdawalla
    • 1
  1. 1.The Planetary SocietyPasadenaUSA

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