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Determining mineralogy on Mars with the CheMin X-ray diffractometer

Robert T. Downs
Determining mineralogy on Mars with the CheMin X-ray diffractometer (in Mineralogy of Mars, John P. Grotzinger (editor))
Elements (February 2015) 11 (1): 45-50


The rover Curiosity is conducting X-ray diffraction experiments on the surface of Mars using the CheMin instrument. The analyses enable identification of the major and minor minerals, providing insight into the conditions under which the samples were formed or altered and, in turn, into past habitable environments on Mars. The CheMin instrument was developed over a twenty-year period, mainly through the efforts of scientists and engineers from NASA and DOE. Results from the first four experiments, at the Rocknest, John Klein, Cumberland, and Windjana sites, have been received and interpreted. The observed mineral assemblages are consistent with an environment hospitable to Earth-like life, if it existed on Mars.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 11
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Determining mineralogy on Mars with the CheMin X-ray diffractometer
Title: Mineralogy of Mars
Author(s): Downs, Robert T.
Author(s): Grotzinger, John P.editor
Affiliation: University of Arizona, Department of Geosciences, Tucson, AZ, United States
Affiliation: California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Pasadena, CA, United States
Affiliation: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Science TeamUnited States
Pages: 45-50
Published: 201502
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 31
Accession Number: 2015-034338
Categories: Extraterrestrial geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201516
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